Students design a space station
28 August 2008
Between the 13 and 18 July 2008, 40 students from 12 ESA member states had an opportunity to design their own space station, using ESA's Concurrent Design Facility. The interdisciplinary approach of the task encourages the participation not only of aerospace engineering students, but also students from other engineering and non engineering fields, e.g. architecture medicine and psychology.
The Space Station Design Workshop was a joint initiative between ESA and the University of Stuttgart, held at ESA's technical centre ESTEC and was open to students from all ESA Member States. Throughout the week, the 40 graduate (or near-graduate) students had the opportunity to learn and practice systems engineering applied to the conceptual design of a space station and to network with ESA experts and fellow space enthusiasts.
The workshop kicked off on the Sunday in the unique environment of ESA's Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) with a lecture from Massimo Bandecchi (Head of Concurrent Engineering and CDF). The Students were divided into two teams (Red and Blue) and were requested to fulfil a mission statement generated by ESA in close co-operation with the university of Stuttgart.
The mission statement was for the design of an astronaut-tended transportation system to the low lunar orbit (LLO) and other destinations preparing the next steps in human exploration, as the Earth-Moon and the Sun-Earth Libration Points.
To assist the students to achieve such an ambitious goal in such a short time frame they were provided with a clear methodology, recipes and guides through the design process. Q&A sessions and reviews by ESTEC and Universitat Stuttgart staff supported the two teams and easy to learn software tools were introduced to allow for more detailed sub-system design and simulations.
The workshop concluded with a final presentation of the results on 18 July 2008 where the participants were welcomed by Bernard Hufenbach, Head of Strategy and Architecture Office and Marco Caporicci, Head of Future Transportation and Infrastructures, both from The ESA Directorate for Human Spaceflight and by former Astronaut Prof. Messerschmid from the Universitat Stuttgart.