Institute for Aerospace Technology


The Space Lab at the university


The logo for the Wormsail project

WormSail is a collaborative project between the University of Nottingham and University of Brasilia, with the aim to design, build and fly a small CubeSat to conduct experiments in space.

These experiments include everything from the behaviour of tiny nematodes, to using the Earth’s magnetic field to steer the satellite and more. Once it’s launched, it could be the world’s first multi-cellular organisms on a CubeSat flight.

Work began on WormSail in September 2020 and is currently ongoing as of 2022.




The logo for the Astrojam project

AstroJam made the final shortlist for the European Space Agency’s 4th 'Fly Your Satellite!' call, and is currently in the process of applying for their 'Design Booster'.

Designed to support a GNSS interference mapping and characterisation payload from the Nottingham Geospatial Institute, this educational CubeSat is based off experience and technology developed for WormSail, that we are refining and teaching to the next generation.



Rocketry Project Team

The University of Nottingham's logo for their entry to the Mach22 competition

Mach-22 is a competition organised by UKLSL (UK Launch Services Ltd) and UKSEDS (the National Student Space Society) where teams have to design, manufacture and launch a large model rocket and a CanSat to as close to an altitude as 1km as possible.

The team would gather data from the launch, such as measuring and transmitting altitude, inertia and position during flight and recovery to a ground station. Additionally, the CanSat lander module will be ejected at apogee and release a planetary probe upon landing, simulating a lander mission.




Cylindrical electronics for the CanSat project

In July of 2021, students took part in a CanSat competition that involved the design and development of a satellite mission, which was assessed through design reviews following ESA Standard Project Management and were presented to UK Launch Services Ltd (UKLSL) and OneWeb judges. The CanSat is designed to be launched using a small-sounding rocket up to 450 meters, where the CanSat was then ejected and recovered using a recovery system.

The team was part of the “Peake CanSat Category” which used a 66mm diameter and 160mm tall CanSat. The proposed mission was to collect air pollution data around the launch site, record and track the flight path in real-time.




The logo for the TemboSat project

TemboSat is a mission proposed by third-year Mechanical Engineering students for their Group Design and Make module project.

The mission’s aim is to use CubeSats to track elephants in the wild and help reduce their poaching through providing local authorities up-to-date elephants’ locations.

The objectives are to:

  • design a prototype of a 1U CubeSat with a communication payload and supporting systems, and a prototype of a tracking sensor that can be located on an elephant,
  • carry out an analysis of the communication between the two prototypes,
  • carry out an orbital analysis for the proposed mission.



Logo for the VITA project

VITA (Visualising In-Space TxTl Astropharmaceuticals) is a mission being developed in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the third iteration of their “Orbit Your Thesis!” educational programme. 

The team of students (including undergraduates, postgraduates and PhD researchers) are developing a small 'experiment cube', which is to be launched to the International Space Station and connected to its ICE Cubes facility by one of the astronaut crew. Once connected, the cube can be controlled by the Nottingham team from Earth to perform scientific experiments. Once the investigations are complete, the cube can be disconnected and brought back down to our labs for further analysis. 

Team VITA will be designing and developing a cell-free transcription and translation experiment intended to produce on-demand proteins. In the long term, such technology could produce personalised medical attention for long-duration space flight by allowing on-demand therapeutic protein production, in the short term the students will focus on testing the technology on the International Space Station with fluorescent proteins.




Institute for Aerospace Technology

Aerospace Technology Centre
Innovation Park
Triumph Road
Nottingham, NG7 2TU

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