NUSTARS is an undergraduate student organization at Northwestern University dedicated to 

NUSTARS founders saw an unfulfilled demand for a student group in the Northwestern community for those interested in aerospace and space-related careers, and the topic of space in general. Founded in February of 2012 and accepted by McCormick Student Advisory Board as a McCormick Design Organization in March 2012, NUSTARS has initiated efforts to fulfill the needs and wants of said students and faculty. McCormick students and others throughout Northwestern now have the opportunity to explore potential interests in the field of space exploration. 

NUSTARS' current objectives are:

  1. To design, build, and launch a reusable rocket with science payload, in accordance with NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) competition rules;
  2. To design, build, and launch an experiment, in accordance with the NASA Microgravity University (MGU) competition rules;
  3. To design, build, and launch a CubeSat, in accordance with the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) competition rules;
  4. To apply, compete, and participate in the NASA USLI and MGU challenges and other related programs;
  5. To advocate for research related to space exploration;
  6. To engage students and educators at Northwestern and in the Evanston and Chicago communities in learning about the Universe, space technology, and rocketry.
The organization consists of the following:
Rocketry Team
NUSTARS will compete in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative. The USLI is a competition that challenges university-level students to design, build, and launch a high-powered rocket with a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level. The Rocketry team will compete in Aprils, starting 2013.

Microgravity Team (formerly the Northwestern University Microgravity Group [NUMG])
NUSTARS will also participate in the NASA Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. The RGEFP provides a unique academic experience for undergraduate students to successfully propose, design, fabricate, fly and evaluate an experiment of their choice in a reduced gravity aircraft. The Microgravity Team will compete in Junes, starting 2013.

Satellite Team
NUSTARS will also participate in the NASA Small Spacecraft Technology Partnership program. SSTP offers an opportunity to design and build a small satellite that will be launched into space as an auxiliary payload in a future NASA launch mission to conduct research in science, exploration, technology, education, or operations. Applications are submitted in November, starting 2013.

Education Team
All NASA programs involve significant educational outreach components with grades K-12. This requirement is met through the Education Team. NUSTARS is partnering with Science in Society to develop and implement age-appropriate curriculum, presentations, and hands-on demonstrations for students in neighboring elementary, middle, and high schools.

Outreach Events
NUSTARS is a growing social and design organization. To keep members involved, and to engage new members, events will be held on- and off-campus. These events include, but are not limited to: social events, movie nights, rocketry outings, museum visits, demonstrations, guest presentations, and related events.

The projects engage students in scientific research and real-world engineering processes with NASA personnel. It allows students of all academic disciplines to collaborate in the designing, building, and testing of a high-powered rocket and reduced gravity experiment, as well as participate educational and social outreach. This unique hands-on experience allows students to gain experience with engineering, demonstrate proof-of-concept for their designs, and give previously abstract concepts tangibility. 

While the majority of NUSTARS' membership consists of McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences students, there are a number of students from other schools, notably the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences, the School of Communication, and the Bienen School of Music.

Please contact one of us if you'd like to learn more about the organization or if you'd like to be added to the listserv.
Subpages (2): Executive Board History