Prospective Members

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 General Member, students can participate in all of the projects that SSS has to offer. As a Voting Member, students retain the right to vote in Open Board Meetings and make important decisions alongside the Executive Board members. 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 of this website.

We look forward to working with you!


“The Board”



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.


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!


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

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.