Meet Fabio De Pascale, Integration Manager for YES2.
What’s your role at ESA?
I’m a Young Graduate Trainee here at the ESA Education Office assigned to the YES2 project. For YES2, I am both Re-entry Capsule Engineer and Integration Manager. I have two jobs because I have been a part of the YES2 programme for quite some time. I started out as the Re-entry Capsule Engineer and then became Re-entry Capsule Manager. I was one of the first people to specialise in the Thermal Protection System, which protects the Fotino capsule on re-entry into the atmosphere.
What’s your role in the YES2 project?
I am now the Integration Manager on YES2, so I make sure that all the systems are put together and tested properly, that none of the components fall apart during the testing or transport, the ESA standards are observed and the proper quality is achieved. It’s like I have the keys to YES2! I have the last word before anybody touches the YES2 flight hardware, as we need to work in a controlled way to ensure the quality and prevent mistakes that could compromise the mission.
It’s been really helpful for me to have been with this project for so long and held so many different positions. It allows me to relate to what other people on the project are doing and make suggestions. You get a real understanding of what is expected and what is needed to make the project work.
What are you working on at the moment on YES2?
Preparing and planning for the upcoming work campaign. We go to Baikonur at the end of August to fix a couple of things and make sure that YES2 is ready for launch. The last action is to plug these ‘arming’ connectors into YES2. That activates all the systems and makes them ‘live’ for use in orbit. There are a number of systems that are hazardous so we do not have them on and running in the armed mode before the launch as a safety measure.
What’s the next major step?
This is my last step as Integration Manager. From that point on, I have no job! This is quite an interesting aspect because the peak of my job has been the design and integration phases, while Marco’s job will peak at launch and during the operation of the satellite. He’s going to be making sure what we’ve done keeps working.