ESA: Flying Spacecraft for Real - Vortrag auf der FEDCON
FedCon 27 | Vortrag | ESA Special: Ask the Crew
ESA: Ask the Crew
10. April 2018
FedCon 27 | Vortrag | The world's greatest SF series
The world’s greatest SF series
18. April 2018

Tales from the Bridge – Flying Spacecraft for Real!

Join the mission control team from the European Space Agency during FedCon on a journey into the real world of space operations. While it might not (yet!) be the bridge of a starship, some of Europe’s most exciting science missions are flown from right here in Germany. Come to learn the fun and interesting stories of life flying a fleet of spacecraft that explore everything from our own planet out to the far reaches of our solar system and see how much it is (and isn’t!) like science fiction.

During this one hour presentation you’ll get a window on the science fact behind four different parts of the European Space Agency’s flight operations:

How to brake a spacecraft – aerobraking ExoMars
ExoMars is Europe’s latest Mars mission and it has just arrived in its final orbit around Mars. Over the last 18 months it has been dipping into the Martian atmosphere – surfing the thin gasses to slow down and reach its new home. ExoMars operations engineers Armelle Hubault and Chris White will tell you about this “aerobraking” process, the trials and tribulations and the most important thing – how not to crash!

Controlling zombie satellites – Cluster after 18 years
The four satellites of the Cluster mission are some of the European Space Agency’s oldest flying spacecraft. At 18 years old they are long past their design lifetime of just 2 years. With units wearing out, even the batteries are no longer functional causing the mission to power down completely whenever it passes behind the Earth. Cluster operations engineer Aybike Demirsan will tell you all about how mission control keeps these “zombie” spacecraft flying despite all the odds.

Brain surgery at Mars – reprogramming Mars Express
We all know the pain of installing updates on our computers, but how do you do that when the computer is flying around a different planet with software written in an obsolete language by people who have long since retired?! ESA’s venerable Mars Express mission needs just this to be done. Mars Express operations engineer Simon Wood will describe how and why ESA’s mission control team are “hacking” our own Mars mission to give it new life for the years to come.

Debris on the starboard bow – dodging space junk
Flying around our own planet is dangerous business – we’re surrounded by a swarm of more than 750000 objects, each travelling fast enough to destroy a satellite in an instant. Without a deflector array or shields to help us, the only way to do it is to dodge out of the way! Earth Observation operations engineer Thomas Ormston will tell you how we keep our satellites safe, how big the problem of space debris really is (it’s scarier than the movie Gravity!) and what we can do for the future.

FedCon 27 | ESA Mission Controllers

FedCon 27 | ESA Mission Controllers

Lecturer: ESA Mission Controllers
Duration: 60 min  -  The Lecture will be held in: english
The European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany is where the missions of the European Space Agency (ESA) come alive! Just under 200 km from FedCon is mission control for some of the most exciting science and exploration missions ever flown. The fleet of spacecraft flown from ESOC cover missions studying our own planet, missions that go beyond our Earth and explore the solar system and missions that look even further than that - peering into the very depths of time and space in the distant universe. The mission control team from ESOC are all real engineers that spend their days flying this fleet of spacecraft across the solar system and are here to add a little of the excitement of science fact to the science fiction. The six mission controllers that you'll be able to meet and hear from this year at FedCon are:

Aybike Demirsan – Aybike is a Young Graduate Trainee in the Cluster flight control team. The 4 Cluster spacecraft were launched back in 2000 and "dance" around each other monitoring the interaction between Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind.

Armelle Hubault & Chris White – Armelle and Chris are operations engineers working on the ExoMars mission. ExoMars is ESA's latest Mars mission - it only just arrived in its final orbit at Mars this year and is ready to start a busy science schedule investigating faint gasses in the Martian atmosphere.

Jana Mulacova – Jana works in Product Assurance for a whole range of different missions across ESOC. Her work is critical to ensure that no details are missed and that the teams at ESOC follow proper procedures and standards to ensure our missions are safe and successful.

Thomas Ormston – Thomas is an operations engineer working on the EarthCARE mission. EarthCARE is still preparing for launch and is part of ESA's Earth Observation programme – a series of missions ensuring that the best and most up to date information about our planet and its health is available to all.

Simon Wood – Simon is an operation engineer working for the Mars Express flight control team. Mars Express is ESA's first Mars mission and has been orbiting the red planet since 2003. It still delivers amazing science every day and Simon and the Mars Express team are working to ensure it continues as long as possible.

Sources & additional links for ESA: Flying Spacecraft for Real:

ESA Deutschland

Comments are closed.

This site is registered on as a development site.