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International Astronautics Congress: four ESTACA students honoured

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At the end of September, a delegation of 5th-year students attended the 67th International Aeronautics Congress (IAC) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Among them, Pierre Foullon and Pierre Plévin, young entrepreneurs who developed aquaponics (1), presented a version of their project to colonize the planet Mars. Success was on the cards as they were supported by the French Aeronautical Astronautical Association (AAAF) and participated in the Student Competition. Perhaps a future avenue for development of the young start-up company Selfeden?

In another symposium, Aurore Piazza and Arthur Descamps presented the XCube concept to the international community. Developed by Arthur in 2015 at the occasion of his one-year internship at the NASA Ames research centre in California, XCube uses the CubeSat standard and adapts it to on-board experiments. Their team, comprised of 7 students from ESTACA’s Space option, used their 5th-year project to design and build the first demonstrator, before flying off to Moffetfield to present it to NASA. The prototype designed to be carried on the research centre’s drones, includes several features sought after in the field: imaging, flight environment analysis and analysis of air composition. Feedback from the international community was encouraging, especially regarding complete low-cost engineering problem solving.

The dynamic of ESTACA students at IAC since 2013 makes the French school one of the best represented at this major congress. This strengthens its strategic position within the sector and confirms its international reputation. Industrialists and organisations showed a keen interest in their careers, highlighting projects, practicality and knowledge of the industry.

(1) Aquaponics is a culture technique associated with permaculture based on a fish-farm ecosystem that produces quality plants and fish while at the same time saving 90% of the water used in traditional growing methods.