July 21, 2024

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The YPSat young professionals team is on its way to Ariane 6

The YPSat young professionals team is on its way to Ariane 6

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06/06/2024
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ESA’s YPSat has been shipped to Arianespace. After a series of successful tests that confirmed that the payload is ready for deployment, it will now head to the European launch site in French Guiana. The goal of YPSat is to capture all the key stages of Ariane 6’s maiden flight.

The first 3D printed model of YPSat

Ypsat is a project run entirely by young professionals from the European Space Agency to give them experience in designing, building and testing space hardware.

Work is carried out in their spare time during main business hours, with additional work sessions during evenings and weekends, to keep up with all the work required.

The payload remains attached to the launch vehicle’s upper stage for approximately 3 hours. During that time, it will take images and videos of the separation of Ariane 6’s nose cones, expansion cubesats, and images of Earth and space from space.

Ariane 6 is ready

In addition, it will measure the Earth’s magnetic field along the launch path using an innovative quantum sensor, while the on-board antenna will allow radio enthusiasts to communicate with YPSat.

To celebrate the efforts, the shipment contains a plaque bearing the names of the YPSat team on one side and the technical experts who advised them on the other.

Hardware in a box for shipping

This achievement not only highlights the fantastic efforts of the entire team, but also serves as a moment to reflect on the progress made to date.

The journey to this point has been supported by rigorous testing, dedication and continued commitment by a team of young professionals from across the agency.

Now look to the future

Space rider

Preparations for YPSat-2 are already well underway. This next project aims to deploy two science experiments, hopefully via ESA’s reusable Space Rider spacecraft.

These payloads are designed to conduct advanced experiments that will improve our understanding of the origins of life and the effects of microgravity on astronauts.

The Director General of the European Space Agency meets the YPSat team

The YPSat-2 initiative was born from an idea between skilled scientific teams, and was created to ensure a comprehensive and rigorous approach to space experiments.

Learning from the YPSat-1 experiments, the team is focusing on improving operations and incorporating best practices to improve the science goals of the upcoming mission. Currently, about 30 young specialists are working hard on YPSat-2, which highlights the great interest in the project at all ESA sites.

YPSat nameplate

Vendela Roxenborg, Co-Chair of YPSat-2: “Following the progress of the dedicated work done by young professionals at ESA to make YPSat-1 a success, I was inspired to participate in YPSat-2. These projects are very important because they encourage young professionals to learn more about space , while solving real-world challenges and promoting teamwork.

As the team continues to expand horizons, YPSat missions are a critical component of ongoing collaboration between young and seasoned professionals.

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