The European Student Moon Orbiter (ESMO) was a proposed European student mission to the Moon. Student teams from 19 universities throughout Europe worked on the program.
ESMO was conceived by the Student Space Exploration & Technology Initiative under the support of the European Space Agency (ESA); prior to the start of Phase A the full responsibility for the management of the program was transferred to the ESA Education Office.
In 2009, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) was selected as prime contractor. ESMO was scheduled for launch in late 2013 or early 2014,〔 but further ESA evaluation deemed the ESMO project's costs "unsustainable" given the ESA Education Office's budget.〔http://www.esa.int/Education/ESA_concludes_student_ESMO_Moon_orbiter_project〕
== Objectives ==
The mission objectives for ESMO were:
* To launch the first lunar spacecraft to be designed, built and operated by students across ESA Member States and ESA Cooperating States.
* To place and operate the spacecraft in a lunar orbit.
* To acquire images of the Moon from a stable lunar orbit and transmit them back to Earth for education outreach purposes.
* To perform new measurements relevant to advanced technology demonstration, lunar science and exploration.
The educational aim of the project was to provide valuable hands-on experience to university students within a real and demanding space project. This is in order to fully prepare a well qualified workforce for ambitious future ESA missions.〔
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