For a project to have a specific goal is certainly helping to be able and define its course. Achieving this goal however is another story. In most cases there are huge challenges and obstacles acting as a road block in the success of the project; the differentiation point of a successful project from one that failed is the will power and determination of the members comprising it.
From the very first day of the workshop the atmosphere was very inspiring. Highly qualified ESA engineers and staff giving lectures, teams from different parts of Europe getting to know each other, all having space-related missions, which is something that you can not find everyday in one place, create the chance for idea exchange and knowledge transfer and enhancement. While there are various technical presentations, the main event of the workshop is the teams presentations. Every team has a different purpose of wanting to fly their satellite and is also in a different design phase, with some teams being ahead of others. The main point that should be stressed here is that every team has 30 minutes to present their project and has to realize that is required to compress years of work in just 30 minutes! This is a huge task as there are so many things that have happened in the project’s duration, making it impossible to include everything.
We conceptualized a novel biological experiment to be conducted aboard our nanosatellite project, while the technical subsystems were working to gain the required knowledge to start the development process. We scrolled through tons of documentation, including ESA standards, past mission reports, while at the same time developing and working on the hardware parts of each subsystem. It was obvious from the beginning that we were trying to take on a great challenge with many pitfalls, since we did not have the necessary knowledge and we needed to work hard. Not only did we not have the required knowledge, but also we were not so known in our university and especially to companies. The staggering fact about our team is that all these challenges did not stop us from moving on and working hard to achieve our goal. It is noteworthy that in almost one year we managed to overcome most of our obstacles and have a mission design with many of the technical aspects also developed. This determination we had gave us the ability to take advantage of the chance that ESA provides with the Fly Your Satellite! program to launch our satellite! Here we are now, proud that we were selected to present our team in the selection workshop among 6 other teams, bringing us many steps closer to actually fly our mission.
| Giving a 30 minute – whole project presentation,
was also an emotional moment for us. We made a lot of rehearsals in front of our members, our professors and some of our sponsors, but the presentation day was a totally different story. Sure there was anxiety, as always, but the thing that came out from all the three presenters is the emotions they had. The feeling that we worked hard when we had no support, we went through rough times and yet we survived as a project was so intense that this was the best “rehearsal” we did. The take-home message from all our course so far is that when you are facing something that has the size of mount Everest, try to climb it wisely and don’t give up by staying there or returning back because the cold could kill you. So do you have an idea? If yes, then get up and start working for it the hardest way possible.