ESA’s Fly Your Satellite Programme: Empowering Student Innovations in Space Technology

The European Space Agency’s Fly Your Satellite! (FYS) programme is a platform that continues to offer invaluable opportunities for students to immerse themselves in space technology education and collaboration. Recently, ESA selected 4 teams in the FYS programme, with the Da Vinci Satellite team from TU Delft in the Netherlands among the notable participants. 

Fly Your Satellite! Programme Overview

The Fly Your Satellite! (FYS) programme, led by the European Space Agency (ESA), is a collaborative initiative tailored to provide university students with hands-on experience and learning in space technology. ESA teams up with universities across its member states to support students with testing, expertise, and launching their satellites. Through practical engagement in satellite design, manufacturing, and operation, students acquire crucial insights and skills necessary for pursuing careers in the space industry. 

Participation of Da Vinci Satellite

Among the standout participants in the Fly Your Satellite! programme is the Da Vinci Satellite (DVS) team, representing the Netherlands.  Their journey through the selection process exemplifies the essence of collaborative learning and innovation. The DVS team’s success in progressing to the workshop stage at ESA/ESTEC highlights the caliber of talent and dedication present within the  Dutch academic and space communities.  

During the intensive three-day workshop at ESTEC, DVS and other selected teams had the opportunity to interact, exchange ideas, and receive invaluable feedback. This collaborative environment not only fosters technical advancements but also cultivates personal connections within the international space sector. DVS’s involvement underscores the Netherlands’ active role in the global space arena and its commitment to fostering future generations of space professionals. 

Nurturing Dutch Talent

Kim Regnery, Chief Engineer of Payload of the Cube Satellite project at VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ and a member of the Da Vinci Satellite team, shared her insights into the importance of the Fly Your Satellite! programme for the Netherlands. Reflecting on their participation in the workshop at ESA/ESTEC, Kim emphasized the exposure to ESA’s facilities and experts, providing Dutch students with unique insights into the inner workings of the space industry. 

Kim further elaborated, stating, “The workshop at ESA/ESTEC was a valuable experience for us. We had the opportunity to interact with international peers and experts, gaining new perspectives and inspiration for our project.” She added, “It’s not just about the technical aspects; it’s also about building connections and fostering a sense of community within the space sector.” 

Discussing the broader impact of the programme, Kim highlighted its significance for Dutch students, saying, “Participating in the Fly Your Satellite! programme not only enhances our technical skills but also strengthens the Netherlands’ presence in the global space arena.” She emphasised, “It showcases our capabilities and fosters collaboration with other countries and institutions.” 

Kim also expressed optimism for the future, stating, “As a Dutch student, being part of this programme is incredibly rewarding. It opens doors to opportunities and networks that will shape our careers in the space industry.” She concluded, “We’re excited to continue our journey with the support of ESA and our fellow participants, contributing to the advancement of space exploration.” 

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