MSS19 Internship Stories: Four Participants at ESA ESTEC

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Orr Cohen, Charlotte Nassey, Salvatore Vivenzio and Andrew Townsend, four International Space University ISU Master of Space Studies MSS19 students, are currently carrying out their internship in the technical heart of the European Space Agency ESA: the European Space Research and Technology Centre ESTEC.

ESTEC is where all ESA missions are born and developed. At ESTEC, people are simultaneously involved in defining future missions, developing technology and operating spacecraft. Charlotte, Salvatore and Orr are all part of the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

Charlotte works for the Technology Transfer Program. The team Charlotte works in, identifies and patents new technologies developed at ESA, and facilitates their use for non-space applications. In addition to this, she is in charge of a collaboration with NASA, CSA and CNES that will lead to reshaping the technology transfer strategy of ESA.

Salvatore is part of the Systems and Concurrent Engineering section, supporting Pre-Phase-A studies performed in the Concurrent Design Facility. This is where Systems Engineers and technical experts assess together the feasibility of new space missions by producing a preliminary conceptual design of the mission. Salvatore is working on the early phase activities of an ESA-led In Situ Resource Utilization demonstration mission on the lunar surface.

Orr works in the Flight Vehicles and Aerothermodynamics Engineering Section, in support of the CleanSpace initiative. This initiative addresses the environmental challenges of the space industry in Europe by supporting the development of clean technologies. Orr is working on “Design for Demise” projects, a space debris mitigation technique that focuses on improving the design of spacecraft to increase their ability to disintegrate when re-entering Earth’s atmosphere.

Andrew is part of the Directorate of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration. He is contributing to ESA’s European Exploration Envelope Program. He helps in shaping ESA’s exploration strategy for 2020-2024, by identifying the future roles, capabilities, and technologies for ESA to achieve their long-term goal of extending human reach to Mars. His team is exploring commercialization of the ISS and LEO, and preparing for lunar exploration missions that demonstrate the capability of space resource utilization.

ESTEC is the biggest center for space activities in Europe. This allows MSS representatives to attend regular space events and also to connect with ISU alumni working at ESA.


Picture Credit:
Cover picture – ISU, MSS19 Students Salvatore, Orr, Andrew, Charlotte in the Colombus Module.
Picture two – ISU, MSS19 Students Salvatore and Andrew with ESA Astronaut Alexander Gerst.

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