Skip to main content

About ESMO

ESMO is a project from ESA's Education Office.
The European Student Moon Orbiter (ESMO) is planned to be the first European student mission to the Moon.

ESMO represents a unique and inspirational opportunity for university students, providing them with valuable and challenging hands-on space project experience in order to fully prepare a well qualified workforce for future ESA missions.

In addition, ESMO has a powerful education outreach aspect and strong attraction for younger students studying in high schools across Europe, by lowering the entry-level for lunar exploration to attainable university project activities. ESMO also represents an opportunity for students to contribute to the scientific knowledge and future exploration of the Moon by returning new data and testing new technologies.

Mission Objectives 

  • To launch the first lunar spacecraft designed, built and operated by students across ESA Member States and ESA Cooperating States
  • To place the spacecraft in a lunar orbit.
    • An on-board chemical propulsion system will be used to transfer the spacecraft from its initial Earth orbit to a polar orbit around the Moon via the Sun-Earth L1 Lagrange point over a period of 3 months; this is done to reduce propellant consumption.
  • To acquire images of the Moon from a stable lunar orbit and transmit them back to Earth
    • A 2.5 kg narrow angle camera will be used for providing medium-resolution images of the lunar surface at specific locations upon request from schools.
  • To perform new measurements relevant to advanced technology demonstration, lunar science and exploration.
    • Payloads being studied are a small radar payload, a radiation monitor, a 2.5 kg passive microwave radiometer (temperature of the regolith a few metres below the surface), and a telecommunication experiment to test a lunar internet protocol. All may be operated from the same orbit as the camera.

    Our role, aims and objectives 

    The student team from The University of Warwick is to design and build the Electrical Power Systems (EPS) for the satellite.

    The EPS includes:

    • Solar arrays to produce electrical power from sunlight which will power the ESMO subsystems
    • Power Control and Distribution Unit to control the power and distribute it to the subsystems as required
    • Battery to store power for use when the solar array is out of sunlight (during eclipses).

    The 2010/11 team intend to:

    • Make a decision on the method of solar array regulation
      • Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) or Sequential Switching Shunt Regulator (S3R)
    • Produce a circuit design for the chosen system
      • Simulate design
      • Prototype design
      • Test prototype (and update design)
    • Undertake mechanical and thermal simulation of the electrical power system:
      • Thermal simulation of the solar arrays, battery and Power Control and Distribution Unit housing
      • Mechanical (including vibration) simulation of the solar arrays, battery and Power Control and Distribution Unit housing

    More information: For more detailed information and updates on ESMO please visit the ESMO page from ESA's Education Office