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Systems Tool Kit & AFA's StellarXplorers

Ansys STK is a software tool that allows engineers and scientists to design and develop complex dynamic simulations of real-world problems, especially those relating to satellites, spacecraft, and aircraft. Through CAP's partnership with Ansys Government Initiatives, the makers of STK, cadets are invited to test-fly this state-of-the-art technology.

STK is a fantastic aerospace/STEM activity for cadets, students, and adults!


In association with STK, the Air & Space Forces Association (AFA) has an exciting and challenging national competition that involves the use of STK.  StellarXplorers (STLX) is a dynamic program and competition available to ANY high school team from schools, youth organizations, JROTC, OR CAP!  The program leads to a national finals competition held each spring. 


STLX IX (2022-2023) competition is complete. 

New Jersey Cadets Reach StellarXplorers National Finals (7 March 2023)

Six cadets from the New Jersey Wing’s Maj. Thomas B. McGuire Composite Squadron competed in the Air & Space Force Association’s StellarXplorers IX Space STEM program national finals. The team is one of 10 to reach the championship competition from an initial field of nearly 350 entries....


STLX X (2023-2024) registration closed in October and is in mid-competition now.  Find out all details at! 

  • Plan now for the next season of STLX- with registration opening in April each year.

  • For schools:   Title I school fees are waived.   School team registration is $200 for the first team; $100 for the second team; and all teams (up to three other teams) after that are free.  Thus, five teams for $300!!!

  • CAP teams register at no cost!

To find out more about how the STLX program can help CAP squadrons, click the STLX Info Page for CAP.

Want to get started learning about STK? See info below!

                   INTRODUCTORY VIDEO!

How to Obtain a Free STK Software License:



These resources are old, but can still be used.  

STK Downloading Instructions - 2018 Update

STK Curriculum
STK PowerPoint - Orbital Mechanics
Lesson plans, slides, activity scenarios, etc.  (6.6 mb Zip file)

Past CAP teams in the national STLX finals:

STLX IX (2023) New Jersey's Thomas B..McGuire Composite Squadron reached the StellarXplorers national finals. See CAP.NEWS article.

STLX VIII (2022) Complete

STLX VII (2021) OR Wing, the Aurora Composite Squadron won the national championship.  See CAP.NEWS article.

STLX VI (2020) OR Wing, the Aurora Composite Squadron placed 2nd nationally!  See CAP.NEWS article.

STLX V (2019) MN Wing, the Anoka Composite Squadron  See CAP.NEWS article.

STLX IV (2018) OR Wing, the Aurora Composite Squadron.  See CAP.NEWS article.

STLX III (2017) OR Wing, the Aurora Composite Squadron.  See CAP.NEWS article.

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