Group 3 – Lagrange 7

Team Members

Peyton FitzGerald, Samuel Shukys, Valerie Lewis, Deniz Caglayan, George Fairchild, Jakob Brill, and Sebastian Padron


The mission of our team, Lagrange 7, was to develop a docking system for CubeSat nanosatellites. These CubeSats will be sent to the Earth-Sun Lagrangian points L1 and L5 to study the impact of solar activity on space weather near Earth. We aimed to design and prototype a robust and dependable docking mechanism that can complete fuel, power, and data transfer between two CubeSats, while allowing seamless travel together in space. Our solution features a spring-loaded mechanical docking mechanism that incorporates a rotating lock with extendable pins. Our team focused on many key objectives. Firstly, we ensured that our docking system was compatible with existing CubeSat standards, to promote widespread adoption of our product throughout the aerospace research community. Additionally, we prioritized a mechanical design that was lightweight and simple, to reduce the overall mass and complexity required on CubeSat missions in the future. Our solution includes a spring-loaded female docking port, used to mitigate docking forces and misalignments during the docking process. The male end of our design contains a crankshaft assembly and motor, which drives extendable pins. These pins rotate into a hard-docked position and can withstand all forces applied from CubeSat thrusters. The female chassis assembly is located on the scientific module, while the male chassis is located on the propulsion module of each respective CubeSat. Overall, our design investigation addressed the growing necessity for a reliable nanosatellite docking system in the aerospace industry. This design not only simplifies the docking process, but also mitigates the risk of failure due to any electrical components active during the docking process. Our design incorporates mechanical engineering principles leveraged with reliable design concepts, while meeting all functional requirements. This investigation offers a practical and vital solution for all future CubeSat missions to come.

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.