Fly Your Satellite! CubeSats Phone Home

CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)
CubeSats (Credit: ESA/Medialab)

PARIS (ESA PR) — All three satellites of ESA’s Education Office Fly Your Satellite! programme have established their first contact with the ground.

The three student-built CubeSats were launched into space yesterday at 23:02 CEST (21:02 GMT) on Soyuz flight VS14 from Europe’s spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, together with Europe’s Sentinel-1B and CNES’ Microscope. They are OUFTI-1, Université of Liège, Belgium; e-st@r-II, Polytechnic of Turin, Italy; AAUSAT-4, University of Aalborg, Denmark.

The radio signal from AAUSAT4 was received by multiple ground stations including ESA’s ESTEC site in the Netherlands, and established bidirectional communications with its own ground station. Oufti-1 was also received by multiple ground stations including ESTEC. e-st@r sent a first weak radio signal which has been received by at least 1 radio amateur in Germany.

Since a few hours, the student teams responsible for these missions have now started checking out their spacecraft and preparing to conduct the missions that the satellites were designed to perform. The e-st@r team is first working to consolidate the radio communication link with their satellite.

Fly Your Satellite! is a programme designed by the ESA Education Office to provide students with the experience of working on real space missions. This will help prepare the next generation of space professionals to maintain Europe’s position on the leading edge of space utilisation and research.