The ESEO satellite will be set into space on board the Spaceflight's SSO-A: SmallSat Express dedicated rideshare mission on a SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, (US), on 2 December 2018 (targeted date). ESEO will be a passenger together with about 70 other micro, nano, and pico satellites from several countries from all over the world.
ESEO is an ESA micro-satellite project with an educational objective: for the participating university students to acquire hands-on experience of a real space project, in order to prepare a well-qualified technical workforce for the European space sector. This was achieved by offering the student the opportunity to develop the payload (scientific instruments or technology demonstration experiments), key satellite subsystems and the ground segment (ground stations and Mission Control) to the mission, under the coordination of ESA and SITAEL, the Industrial Prime Contractor, responsible for the satellite platform, system integration and testing, and the technical coordination of the student teams.
Run by the ESA Education Office, ESEO is part of ESA Academy’s Hands-on Space Programme.
Ten Universities from eight ESA Member States (Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, UK) have participated in ESEO, with more than 600 university students involved in the project since its inception.