Home Geospatial Applications Miscellaneous ESA launches nine sats, encourages young scientists

ESA launches nine sats, encourages young scientists

France: European Space Agency’s (ESA) new Vega launcher lifted off from Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. On board were nine small satellites, including seven ESA- sponsored CubeSats built by teams of students from European universities. Among these educational payloads were the first satellites ever designed and built in Hungary, Romania and Poland. 
The first payload to be released into orbit was the LARES Laser Relativity Satellite from the Italian Space Agency (ASI). Some 16 minutes later, the Vega upper stage motor shut down for the third time, followed immediately by deployment of the seven CubeSats and the University of Bologna’s ALMASat-1 nanosatellite. Ejected from special deployment mechanisms known as P-PODs (Poly-Picosatellite Orbital Deployers), each CubeSat was placed in an elliptical orbit of approximately 300 x 1,450 km altitude.  
More than 250 university students in six countries participated in designing and building the seven CubeSats that eventually made it to the launch, along with their innovative technology and science experiments. 
“The launch of the CubeSats on Vega is a key milestone for the ESA Education CubeSats programme,” commented Roger Walker, Head of the Tertiary Education Unit at ESA. “It represents a significant achievement for the many young engineers across Europe who had an invaluable hands-on experience working on a satellite mission from its conception through to its operations in orbit,” 
“The synergies and the exchange of know-how that ESA established with the university teams and professors will certainly help the students to be better prepared for their future careers,” added Piero Galeone, the ESA Education CubeSats project manager. “Not only have they benefited from increased competence and motivation, but they have been enriched by the experience gained from having participated in this important mission and working with highly qualified professionals.” 
Source: ESA