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The Foton M3 spacecraft, including the YES2 payload

Mission facts

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ESA / Education / Young Engineers Satellites

YES2 is the second project in the YES student programme. It is a Technology Demonstration project designed to test and produce data on the “Space Mail” concept, where a tether is used to return material from space to Earth, instead of conventional chemical propulsion.

During the flight it will deploy its own mini-satellite and re-entry vehicle called Fotino.

Mission Objectives

• To give European students a motivating technological and educational hands-on experience
• To demonstrate tethered SpaceMail technology: the return of a small capsule from space to Earth by
• deploying a 30km tether in space to
• demonstrate accurate change of orbit that does not demand attitude control systems or rocket engines
• Using a simple, lightweight and easily scalable system to
• deliver a ∆v (based on the principle of momentum transfer) rather than conventional rocket engine thrust to
• re-enter a small, lightweight, simple and low-cost re-entry capsule using modern materials to
• deliver a small payload safe to Earth within high accuracy.

Scientific Objectives

• Better understanding and study of tethered systems in space
• Provision with unique information on re-entry vehicles with low ballistic coefficient
• Scientific measurements during all stages of tether deployment and re-entry

ESA's Education Office oversees the YES2 educational project and is the primary contributor of funding for student organisation and spacecraft hardware.

The YES2 student achievements would not have been possible without the dedicated support and cooperation of a number of partners including ESA staff in the Directorates of Technical and Quality Management, and Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration; prime contractor Delta-Utec; and the many Universities involved including the Centres of Expertise in Patras, Modena, Krefeld, and Samara.

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