On Monday morning, I’ll be jetting off to Austria for the 2018 Alpbach Summer School, high in the Alps. For the past few days I’ve been making my final preparations, putting clothes together and checking into flights to make the whole trip as smooth as possible.

The summer school will involve 64 European students designing space missions over the course of 10 days, under the theme of sample return from small solar system bodies. We’ll be split into four teams and will receive talks from experts from across the industry on how to design the various science and engineering aspects of our missions.

As well as being a great opportunity to work on a detailed technical project, it’ll also be a good opportunity to meet like-minded students from across Europe, with each providing their own perspectives on the industry and the technical challenges that will face us.

I’m really looking forward to the summer school and will try to post updates on my blog throughout the trip. I’ll also be tweeting throughout the event, so make sure to follow me there for all the latest updates.