A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The challenge for the students is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite, such as power, sensors and a communication system, into this minimal volume. The CanSat is then launched to an altitude of a few hundred metres by a rocket or dropped from a platform or captive balloon and its mission begins: to carry out a scientific experiment and achieve a safe landing.
CanSats offer a unique opportunity for students to have a first practical experience of a real space project. They are responsible for all aspects: designing the CanSat, selecting its mission, integrating the components, testing, preparing for launch and then analysing the data.