Prospective Members

Interested in joining Student Space Systems?

Student Space Systems offers the perfect environment for someone interested in rockets to learn and develop their skills. While the idea of building rockets can seem daunting, we train our members to use software such as ANSYS or NX (CAD) and how rockets work in relation to their project. Anyone from Freshman to graduate students can succeed in the club as long as they’re willing to learn!

If you’re interested in joining our club, we first suggest taking a look at our departments to see what fits best for you.



Projects: Injector, Ignition, Plumbing, Testing, Cooling, Turbo Pump

The Department of Propulsion creates rocket propulsion technology for Student Space Systems. Its main goals are to create the hybrid and liquid engines for usage on Phase rockets, and to analyze and refine them. Research and development is mainly dedicated towards propellants, fuel containment, pressurization, fuel injection, combustion chamber manufacturing, and ground testing.


Projects: Engine Controller, Flight Computer, Thrust Vectoring Control Electronics, Radio Communications, Power Management

The Department of Avionics focuses on creating professional-quality electrical and computational systems for our launch vehicles and ground operations. Projects range from satellite communication to active vehicle stabilization, and involve knowledge from power electronics, wireless communication, FPGA development, PCB design, signal processing, control systems, and more!


Projects: Actuating Fins, Airframe, Engine Integration, Launch Tower, Parachutes, Payload Integration, Rapid Reuse, Thrust Vectoring Control

The Department of Structures is responsible for designing all of our launch vehicles. Structures utilizes modern computation fluid dynamics and finite element analysis software (ANSYS) to design sturdy and lightweight rocket components that can withstand the intense stresses of supersonic flight. In addition, Structures is responsible for designing a variety of mechanical systems that support the operation and ensure the safety of subsystems developed by Propulsion, Avionics, and Special Projects.

Research and Development

Projects: Pneumatics, Level One, Space Grant

The department of R&D serves multiple purposes in SSS. It designs prototypes of technologies that could vastly increase the performance of our launch vehicles; Special Projects was the originator of our liquid propulsion program and currently houses a diverse set of projects from stage separation to electrically-driven propellant turbopumps. In addition, it serves as a venue for members to get involved in the high power rocketry community through an NAR (National Association of Rocketry) Level 1 certification program and involvement in high power rocketry competitions.


The External Department handles all relationships with the world outside of Student Space Systems. This includes social media management, branding, crowdfunding, website management, and recruitment. One of the most important parts of the External Department is our Corporate Outreach Team. This team forges and maintains ongoing professional relationships with companies across many different industries for guidance and assistance in reaching our goals.


The Internal Department handles many of the “behind-the-scenes” actions in Student Space Systems. Many of the social events and educational series that are offered to our members are offered through the Internal Department. This also includes the management of a for-credit course that is offered for Student Space Systems members through the Aerospace Department.

How to Join SSS

Hopefully the previous section helped you decide what part of the club you’d like to be apart of. We understand that SSS offers many interesting projects but there isn’t enough time to do all of them. If you’re still unsure please feel free to either join one of the department meetings to learn more about a department’s projects or email the Director with any questions.

Once you’re ready to join the club please follow the two steps shown below. 

1. Sign up to be apart of the club on Grainger Student Portal.

Membership is tracked through Grainger Student Portal. As this is made for engineering students, non-engineering students should contact an Executive Board member for help. If you’re a Grainger Engineering student follow the QR code or link below.

Join Grainger Student Portal here

2. Join our discord so you can keep up to date with our club.

Our discord is where all of our communications occur. If you haven’t used discord before you’ll need to make an account. Discord can be used either in browser or in its app form that can be downloaded from their page. Once you have an account follow the link below to join.

Join Discord here

Once you’ve joined Discord, make sure to set your nickname to your real name so we know who you are. Now you’re all set so feel free to introduce yourself in #partyyy. Once you’ve decided which projects you’d like to join, request a department role in #roles.

A Message From the Board

Current and Future Illini,

Student Space Systems (SSS) is a technical organization dedicated to achieving the goal of sending completely student designed, built, and launched rockets to suborbital space. One of our core values is to be able to engage our members, no matter their background experience, in rocketry, engineering, and cutting-edge technologies by teaching them and empowering them to take on new projects. What this means for you, is that no matter if you have been involved in rocketry since you were five years old or if you’ve never seen a rocket before in your life, you have a place in SSS. There are many different departments that you can join in SSS to gain hands-on technical and educational experience with the many different projects that we offer. You can see an overview of all of our departments at the bottom of this page.

Within each of our departments and spanning Student Space Systems as a whole, there are numerous opportunities for students to get involved and take on new positions of leadership. As a member, students can participate in all of the projects that SSS has to offer and learn a lot in the process. Project Managers have the opportunity to lead a team of members in a project. Beyond this, all members have the opportunity to run in elections for the chance to be voted onto the Executive Board by our entire membership base.

If you have any questions about SSS and what we can offer you, please do not hesitate to contact us via the Contact Us page.

We look forward to working with you!


The Executive Board