ESA Education

Lee began writing for ESA's Education Office in 2017. He has produced over 100 course reports and articles, in addition to editing and proofing educational resources.

Students program Mars rovers in brand new ESA Academy Robotics Workshop

The objective was to facilitate students learning about the design and operation of planetary robots for space exploration. Lectures, tutorials, and hands-on exercises were all used to great effect, and, in particular, time was foreseen for the students to use ROS2 (Robot Operating System).

The students were split into groups, each receiving an ExoMy rover - a 3D-printed robot inspired by the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover featuring six wheels, a camera, and a Raspberry Pi computer. “It was an

30 university students complete Human Space Physiology Training Course 2022

Lectures were delivered by a dedicated team of 16 experts from ESA and various research institutes and universities across Europe. The topics ranged from the history of human spaceflight, the future of human exploration; and how medical operations are currently provided to European Astronaut on the International Space Station, including exercise countermeasures; and how key areas of space physiology research is conducted, both in orbit and using ground-based analogues. “It was a wonderful week,

Fly Your Satellite! Design Booster pilot selects CubeSat teams

Earlier this year ESA Academy announced the expansion of the established programme Fly Your Satellite! (FYS) with two new derivatives, Design Booster and Test Opportunities. Unlike previous editions of Fly Your Satellite!, these pilot programmes are time constrained and focused specifically on supporting and consolidating a detailed design, in the case of FYS Design Booster, and the preparation and execution of an environmental campaign in Test Opportunities. The FYS Design Booster timeline is s

80 international students attend first ever Fly Your Satellite! Design Booster Training Week

With the Design Booster programme, ESA Academy targets new audiences and enable less experienced teams to progress in the steep learning curve which is a satellite mission. In the call proposals, student teams were invited to reflect how their mission objectives were aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the ESA technological roadmaps. Teams showed great ambition and foresight, proposing missions aligning with new and emerging trends in the space sector, often aiming to address t

Good vibrations for the 3Cat-4 CubeSat team on their preparation for launch

3Cat-4 is a 1U CubeSat equipped with a Flexible Microwave payload. It will conduct Earth Observation, using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) Reflectometry and L-band microwave radiometry, and it will also carry a receiver of AIS (Automatic Identification Services) messages used by vessel traffic services. The student team is part of the Nanosat Lab, an initiative from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

3Cat-4 team performing a visual inspection of the CubeSat between runs of the

Teams selected for the pilot edition of Fly Your Satellite! Test Opportunities

Following a call for proposals and careful selection process, two university teams have now been chosen to participate in the pilot edition of the Fly Your Satellite! Test Opportunities programme. This is designed to give students valuable support and training in conducting an environmental test campaign of their devices.

Candidate student teams worked hard to prepare proposals that were reviewed by Fly Your Satellite! and CubeSat Support Facility staff, with two teams finally being selected fo

Concurrent Engineering takes students to Venus!

The workshop aimed to familiarise students with the Concurrent Engineering approach and its many benefits for spacecraft design. Participants would also gain experience with the COncurrent Model-based dEsign Tool (COMET) used in ESA’s CDF. On the first day, the students received their challenge: to use Concurrent Engineering to design a mission and send a floating platform and a spacecraft to Venus. Since Venus exhibits similar properties as Earth in size and density, it provides a natural labor

ESA Academy’s very first CubeSat Summer School is a success

The first two weeks also featured 45 students livestreaming the lectures to learn about the fundamentals of Space Engineering. “I feel immensely grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend this Summer School as a livestream student”, explained a Spanish student from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. “This experience has allowed me to learn about CubeSat engineering from the most knowledgeable experts, and has connected me to a network of young, talented people as passionate about s

Students delved into the world of operations with the Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Operations Training Course!

The objective was to teach students how to think like operators, giving them a comprehensive overview of spacecraft subsystems and operations. Content was delivered by a senior ESA Engineer from the Operations Department. “Perhaps the most valuable part of the course was the trainer’s experience and storytelling ability,” explained a British student from the University of Bristol. “For every single component or process, he had an example of a mission where it had failed, and he used this to star

Ireland’s first satellite undergoes environmental test campaign

EIRSAT-1 itself is a 2-unit CubeSat participating in the second cycle of ESA’s Fly Your Satellite! Programme. It has a number of mission objectives, including studying gamma-ray bursts; analysing the performance of novel surface treatments; and determining the potential of an attitude control algorithm as an alternative to standard Attitude Determination and Control methods. EIRSAT-1 is also noteworthy as being Ireland’s first ever satellite. Following a successful assembly and integration, the

Triumph as the LEDSAT team complete their adventure with Fly Your Satellite!

LEDSAT joined the second round of Fly Your Satellite! in 2017. Their mission objective was innovative to say the least: use tiny LED lights attached to the CubeSat’s exterior to flash when in Earth’s shadow, allowing ground stations to ascertain how the satellite is oriented in space.

The LEDSAT students then discussed the lessons they have learned, ranging from technical, to programmatic, and educational aspects. This showed how valuable the programme has been to the students and allowed them

ESA/ELGRA Gravity-Related Research Summer School 2022 blends online and in-person learning to inspire university students

The Summer School aimed to offer an overview of current research under microgravity and hypergravity conditions in both life and physical sciences, exposing students to the benefits of performing research and technology demonstrations in altered gravity conditions. A host of ESA and ELGRA international experts contributed as trainers giving engaging lectures as well as technology demonstrations. “The ESA/ELGRA Summer School has been an incredible opportunity to learn about the effects of microgr

Student applications now open for ESA Academy’s first ever Robotics Workshop!

ESA Academy are proud to announce that eligible university students may now apply for the first ever Robotics Workshop, to be held from 7 to 10 November 2022 at the ESA Education Training Centre, ESEC-Galaxia, Transinne, Belgium. This Workshop has been developed by ESA’s Education Office together with experts from the ESA Planetary Robotics Lab .

Planetary exploration is a fascinating sector that ESA is investing heavily in, with projects including the pioneering Rosetta mission to a comet, the

Fly Your Satellite! team EIRSAT-1 have successfully assembled their Flight Model!

EIRSAT-1 is an ambitious 2-unit CubeSat designed and built by students from University College Dublin. Part of the Fly Your Satellite! programme, it is hoped that one day soon it will fly into space – but not before all the necessary tests have been undertaken. The team recently completed an intense environmental qualification campaign, and have now taken another important step forward by finishing their Flight Model’s assembly and integration.

"The Flight Model integration activities took plac

SOURCE team test their CubeSat’s “voice” during Fly Your Satellite! antenna test campaign

From 31 May to 2 June 2022, four students from the University of Stuttgart’s SOURCE team embedded themselves within the CATR (Compact Antenna Test Range) at ESTEC in the Netherlands. As a Fly Your Satellite! third edition team, they have been busy building and testing their three-unit CubeSat prior to launch into space.

Happy students with ESA personnel and their CubeSat The students brought with them a “look-alike” satellite mock-up, closely matching their real design’s external dimensions. On

Ready, set, GO! for the return of ESA Education’s e-technology lab teacher workshops

Located at ESEC in Belgium, the e-technology lab has a proven track record of empowering teachers, boosting their confidence, and equipping them with skills and knowledge to help inspire students. Separate workshops will be available to suit Primary or Secondary teachers, with one of each expected to be scheduled monthly. ESA Education workshops are designed to follow inquiry-based learning methodologies, in order to promote active learning in the classroom, with a special focus on challenge-bas

ESA Academy’s Online Space Debris Training Course 2022 immerses University students in the challenges of space debris

The goal of this training course was to introduce attending students to the concept of space debris, why it is a problem, and what can be done about it. "The Online Space Debris Training Course is a full immersion activity in space debris,” explained a Spanish student from Cranfield University, “giving you the opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics involving space debris from the perspective of real ESA scientists and engineers. Understanding the impact of space debris and the current g

Fly Your Satellite! 3 Phase D Workshop gives student CubeSats a boost toward space!

Held from 9 to 12 May 2022 at the ESA Education Centre at ESEC-Galaxia, in attendance were 15 students from three CubeSat teams of the programme’s third cycle: The Workshop was complementary to previous online Fly Your Satellite! Workshops organised remotely when strict travel restrictions were in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its aim was to offer student teams a hands-on introduction to concepts and situations they will encounter when integrating and testing their CubeSat missions prior t

First ever ESA Academy’s Spacecraft Testing Workshop 2022 sees students act as test engineers and run successful environmental test campaign

The Workshop ran from 25 to 29 April 2022. In attendance were 16 university students with an engineering and/or science background from eight ESA Member States and Slovenia, studying for bachelor, master, or PhD degrees across 14 different universities. The Workshop was supported by several high-calibre experts including ESA Engineers from ESTEC, the European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, The Netherlands, and ESEC, the European Space Security and Education Centre in Redu, Be

Students design lunar water-prospecting missions for the Concurrent Engineering Challenge 2022!

Participating on-site were 16 university students from eight different ESA Member States and Canada, closely mentored by two ESA Systems Engineers from ESA’s Systems and Concurrent Engineering Section. They were joined remotely by two additional groups of students and supporting staff from European universities equipped with their own Concurrent Engineering Facilities: EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (Switzerland); and, the University of Luxembourg. In total, 3

Fly Your Satellite! expands with two new pilot programmes: Design Booster and Test Opportunities

CubeSat team discussing the CubeSat design with an ESA specialist Student teams that have a preliminary design for their 1-, 2-, 3-, or 6-unit CubeSat, and want to consolidate their design with support from ESA, will be very interested in Design Booster! This 18-month programme will see selected teams be trained in running analyses and performing trade-offs to make important design choices for their mission. ESA experts will be on-hand to provide valuable feedback and help consolidate designs, a

Online Technology Transfer Application and Innovation Workshop 2022 upskills the entrepreneurs of tomorrow

ESA Education are keen to cultivate the skills necessary to capitalise on this, so devised the Online Technology Transfer Application and Innovation Workshop 2022. Developed in collaboration with ESA Space Solutions, who also provided experts to act as course trainers, supported by industry specialists in Technology Transfer, Applications, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the workshop ran from 9 to 18 March 2022. Participating were 30 university students with a background in engineering, sci

Online Ladybird Guide to Spacecraft Communications Training Course 2022 sees University students problem-solve like ESA engineers!

The primary objective of the course was to introduce students to the concepts underlying spacecraft telecommunications. Following a “Ladybird” style meant that lectures avoided complex analytical or mathematical detail, instead making generous use of real-life examples and intuitive diagrams. ‘’The Ladybird-style training course really helped me to truly understand the fundamental concepts and how they are intuitively interconnected,” explained a Canadian student from Polytechnique Montréal. “Th

Online CubeSat Concurrent Engineering Workshop 2022 tasks university students with designing a technology demonstration

Running over two weeks from 17 to 27 January 2022, in attendance were 19 university students studying for Masters and PhDs in Engineering. They represented five different ESA Member States, and seven university CubeSat teams currently in the early stages of designing their own missions. ESA System Engineers logged in from ESA’s Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) at ESTEC in the Netherlands, and introduced the students to the Concurrent Engineering approach. Lesson topics included analysis of missi
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