Group 4 – StarStand

Team Members

Tyler Austhof, Jason Algeo, Meredith Giangaspro, Amiya Gupta, Jacob Vetter, Alec Feller, Alaina Gordon, Adisa Harding, Patrik Raguz, Jonathan Ueberschaer, Eduardo Ruiz


The main goal of this project is to design a display stand for the Astro payload, a telescope array integral to Spacelab missions, advancing astrophysical knowledge. The array comprises the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UIT), Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT), Wisconsin Ultraviolet Photo-Polarimeter Experiment (WUPPE), and a Star Tracker (S TRK). Currently the Astro is exhibited at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center vertically on wooden blocks and the objective is to create a stand enhancing the viewing experience for patrons, to be eventually transported to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The proposed StarStand design, whose supports are inspired by the space shuttle silhouette, aims to transport viewers to the stars. Modeled as a welded truss with rotational capabilities around two axes, it ensures optimal exhibit visibility. The truss structure, matching museum color schemes, is fastened to a turntable for disassembly during transportation. The payload cruciform attaches securely to the truss system, incorporating safety features like a locking gear mechanism and emergency stop. Rotation is facilitated by two DC motors, paired with a low ratio gear train, controlled for slow and controlled movements. The turntable enables 360-degree rotation for audience engagement. Safety is a priority, with each motor capable of independent payload actuation. Gearboxes prevent reverse rotation, and springs absorb energy in case of a dual motor failure, preventing damage. The design guarantees safety in all loading scenarios, with a factor of safety of 3 in worst-case analyses. Overall, the structure seeks to support the payload while immersing visitors in the Astro mission through shuttle-shaped aesthetics, offering various telescope views as it rotates, providing an immersive experience into the universe.

Pitch Video

3D Interactive Product Model

The following is an interactive 3D model of the product design. You can view and rotate the product assembly in different orientations and views, including an exploded view to see the various parts that make up the assembly.