Drop Your Thesis! 2018 – Land3U Team


The Land3U team consists of one PhD, and five MSc students from Cranfield University’s Astronautics and Space Engineering course. The team’s microgravity experiment proposed to simulate the landing of a 3U CubeSat on an asteroid, as part of ESA Academy’s Drop Your Thesis! 2018 Programme. For the team, the low gravity conditions of the Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany, are perfect as it resembles the gravity conditions surrounding the asteroids. Their CubeSat experiment sought to provide valuable insights into the engineering challenges that must be addressed by future asteroid missions; in particular when attempting to land on the surface of such low-gravity bodies.

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  1. How the experiment was done? Instead of full free fall you reduced the acceleration of the cube satellite with a rope? Or did you let both the catch bucket and the cube sat to (free) fall and reduced the acceleration of the catch bucket only?

  2. Cranfield, woohoo! Did a MSc there and even though at the time I knew it was a good place to study, I now work on cryogenic engines and I'm always surprised at how many people have heard of it amongst the engineers I meet. So if you want to work in astronautics, the name Cranfield does open some doors!

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