ESA CubeSats from the Space Station: a new path for education and technology
The Danish flag will fly high on 5 October as two ESA CubeSats, entirely designed and developed in Denmark, will be released from the International Space Station (ISS) and start their mission in space: the student-built AAUSAT5 and the professional technology demonstrator GomX-3.
CubeSats, small satellites the size of a cube 10x10x10 (or multiples of it), are gaining increasing popularity in the space sector. They can be used as a cheaper and faster way – with respect to conventional satellites of bigger size and higher cost - to demonstrate the use of miniaturised technology in space for a number of applications. These include the new radio technology to be demonstrated by GomX-3, eventually aimed at supporting the positioning of civilian aircraft and measuring telecommunication satellite signal quality, and that of AAUSAT5, tracking ships at open sea.
CubeSats are also an excellent way for university students to gain experience in the full life-cycle of a space project – from design to launch and operations – before they start their space professions. Since 2012 the ESA Education programme is engaging students across Europe in the development of CubeSats through the Fly Your Satellite! initiative. ESA mentors the student throughout their CubeSat project, transfers expert know-how and provide launch opportunities. With AAUSAT5 ESA is inaugurating a new branch of the initiative: Fly Your Satellite from the ISS!
AAUSAT5 and GomX-3 are the first ESA CubeSat projects to be launched from the ISS.
For further information on ESA’s Fly Your Satellite! Programme contact:
Piero Galeone, ESA Head of Tertiary Education Unit
Email: Piero.galeone @ esa.int
For information on Andreas Mogensen’s iriss mission and to invite Andreas to your premises contact: Rosita.Suenson @ esa.int