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Vega Maiden Flight

Cubesats elected for the Vega Maiden flight

ESA Education office has now announced the list of Cubesats to fly on the Vega Maiden Flight. According to ESA Education office they were surprised by the number of Cubesat projects in Europe. As a consequence they increased the number of slots of the Vega Maiden Flight from six to nine Cubesats. The elected satellittes are:

  • UNICubeSAT (Italy)
  • est@r (Italy)
  • AtmoCube (Italy)
  • Swisscube (Switzerland)
  • Xatcobeo (Spain)
  • Robusta (France)
  • OUFTI-1 (Belgium)
  • PWsat (Poland)
  • Goliat (Romania)

Two back up satellites have also been chosen:

  • UWE-3 (Germany)
  • HiNCube (Norway)

We did a little comparison study on the objective of the elected cubesats and DTUsat-II, see the image below.

 



Comparison of objectives for the elected cubesats and DTUsat-II. The "M" in "Atomic O and µ Meteorites" indicates that we are considering a small experiment involving the GGBoom and the PICOCAM.

The Vega Maiden Flight

ESA’s Director of Launchers and the Agency’s Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations has signed an agreement to include an educational payload on board the Vega Maiden flight. As a result ESA issued a Call for Proposals, which led to the: Vega Maiden Flight Cubesat Workshop.

The workshop was held at Estec in Noordwijk from 22. to 24. January 2008. It counted 22 contributing team from ESA member and affiliated states.

Each team should do a generel presentation of their project  to the workshop audience as well as a closed interview with a jury headed by ESA Education Office.

In total ESA offers launch opportunity for 6 European Cubesats on board the Vega Maiden Flight.

 

The succesful teams must meet a number of criterias. To the best of our knowledge these includes (but may not be limited to):

  • Complience with the Cubesat standard
  • A well thought through project and design
  • A realistic time schedule compliant with the Vega Maiden Flight integration and launch schedule
  • A sound budget

Furthermore these rules apply:

  • The member states building the Vega Launcher has priority
  • Each ESA member state may only be alloted one slot

Credit: Illustration ESA



Credit: Photo ESA

Impressions of the workshop

"From 21. to 24. January we were as students handed the privilege of visiting the Research and Technology center of the European Space Agency. The visit was a very good opportunity for students to make new cross national contacts and seek out possible employment opportunities within the space business. The visit showed me that an initiative like the DTUsat project may create more than the mere satellite. It has given me a balast and an extra motivation to continue in the "space track" as laid down by DTU."

-Jack student on MECH and Sun Sensor.



Introduction of the Vega launcher by B. Geffroy.

"I was truly surprised that so many different teams in Europe are building CubeSats. When you think about how little space that's actually available inside a CubeSat it was really cool to see how many different ways they can be done."

-Teis, student on OBC 



After a succesful workshop the team is enjoying an air-port dinner on the way back.



Credit: Photo ESA