EPFL Spacecraft Team

Build, launch and operate satellites

Our vision:

At the EPFL Spacecraft Team, we want to stimulate the Swiss space ecosystem while training students to work on real complex projects.

We have two mains objectives:

  1. Train the next generation of space engineer students to conduct innovative space projects.
  2. Gather academy and industry around common projects to impact the space ecosystem and the scientific research.

A precious opportunity for the Swiss space industries and institutions:

Many space players in Switzerland want to test their payload in space, however, there are only a few cheap flight opportunities. To meet this demand, the EPFL Spacecraft Team wants to organize periodic in orbit demonstrations and/or validations of swiss scientific instruments. Choosing a payload and going from the construction of the platform to the launch and operation of the satellite is, therefore, our challenge.


A unique experience in our team:

Members who join the team gain a general understanding of the organization of a space mission and meet with space industry companies in Switzerland, Europe, and around the world.

This is a great way to work in an interdisciplinary project and to understand the current challenges of the space industry and scientific research in this field.

The mission includes the design, construction, testing, launch, and operation of the satellites.


Our organization:

The association is divided into several poles. Each equally crucial for the success of the CHESS mission:


  • Management:
    • System engineer
    • Sponsoring
    • Communication
    • Treasurer
  • Technical
    • Mission design
    • Power system (EPS, battery, solar panel)
    • Structure
    • Attitude and determination control system (ADCS)
    • Flight Software
    • On-Board-Computer (OBC)
    • Telecommunication

CHESS – Our first space mission:

CHESS is a space mission whose goal is to launch a constellation of nano-satellites (CubeSat) into orbit around the Earth in order to conduct multiple scientific and technological experiments in space. The main science objective is to study the chemical composition and density of the upper atmosphere. This project brings together a consortium of Swiss universities including UniBe, HLSU, HES-SO, ETHZ and HE-Arc, with EPFL in the lead of the project.


Website: http://chessmission.ch/




System engineers:

Alfonso Villegas

Tristan Trébaol

Nicolas Martinod

EPFL Coordinator : David Rodriguez (EPFL Space Center – E-space)

Academic Responsible : Jean-Paul Kneib (E-space)