Following four and a half months of assembly, integration and testing at ESTEC, the groundbreaking student experiment was shipped to TsSKB-Progress in Samara, Russia, on 7 May. After a month in storage, a series of final adjustments began on 12 June. Two days later, the experiment was installed for the first time on the exterior of the Foton-M3 spacecraft on which it will piggyback a ride into orbit.
In the coming weeks, YES2 will undergo a series of checks to ensure that all of its systems are functioning as intended in conjunction with Foton. These assessments will include communications tests to ensure that commands can be received via the Foton, electrical interface tests and combined functional tests with all the other Foton experiments.
“Although there were tight deadlines to meet, the students worked closely in conjunction with ESA and prime contractor Delta-Utec to bring the tethered re-entry capsule experiment to a state of readiness for launch,” said Roger Walker, Project Manager for YES2, from the ESA Education Office. “The experiment has completed an intensive verification campaign, involving vibration testing, thermal-vacuum and electromagnetic testing. The team has achieved a great deal to get this far, and the students have benefited tremendously from this practical experience with a real space project.”
One of the most challenging aspects of the mission is the deployment of the unique 30 km tether, which will be the longest ever deployed in space. Until recently, the flight tether was still on the premises of Delta-Utec in order to assess its physical properties and ensure that there will be no snags during deployment. The careful unwinding and winding of the tether alone takes a number of days to complete.
Following the completion of the Final Acceptance Review on 20 June and the YES2 - Foton interface and functional tests on 21 June, the experiment is scheduled to be detached from the main spacecraft and then shipped to Baikonur Cosmodrome in early July. YES2 will be reinstalled on the Foton at the end of July and final checks performed in readiness for the launch campaign during September.
Almost 500 students from most ESA Member States, together with the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia have worked on YES2. Although these were mainly involved in the preliminary design phase, some 60 students have participated in the latter stages of developing and building hardware and software.
Hugo Marée | alfa
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
26.04.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences
26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy