Advertisement

Microgravity Science and Technology

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 181–189 | Cite as

ESA Parabolic Flights, Drop Tower and Centrifuge Opportunities for University Students

  • Natacha Callens
  • Javier Ventura-Traveset
  • Thomas-Louis de Lophem
  • Carlos Lopez de Echazarreta
  • Vladimir Pletser
  • Jack J. W. A. van Loon
Open Access
Original Article

Abstract

“Fly Your Thesis!—An Astronaut Experience” is an educational programme launched by the ESA Education Office that aims to offer to European students the unique opportunity to design, build, and eventually fly, a scientific experiment as part of their Master or Ph.D. thesis. Selected teams accompany their experiments onboard the Zero-G aircraft for a series of three flights, each consisting of 30 parabolas, with each parabola providing about 20 s of microgravity. ESA Education Office financially supports the flights and part of the hardware development, as well as travel and accommodation for participants. For the first edition of this programme, four student teams were selected to participate in the 51st ESA Microgravity Research Campaign in November 2009. The 2010 edition of the programme was launched in April 2009 and the final selection was announced in January 2010. In parallel, ESA Education Office is setting up two new hands-on activities to provide European university students with access to drop tower (up to 9.3 s of microgravity) and centrifuge (from 1 to 20 times Earth’s gravity) facilities. Through ELGRA, the selected student teams are working in close contact with renowned European scientists working in gravity-related research. This paper will introduce the three new educational programmes and present the selected experiments, as well as give information to students interested in the future editions.

Keywords

Microgravity Hypergravity Parabolic flight Drop Tower Centrifuge Education 

References

  1. Callens, N., Ventura-Traveset, J., de Lophem, T.-L., Lopez de Echazarreta, C., Pletser, V., van Loon, J.J.W.A.: Fly Your Thesis!—an astronaut experience—ESA Parabolic Flights opportunities for university students in collaboration with ELGRA. ELGRA News 26, 81. ELGRA Biennial Symposium, Bonn, Germany (2009)Google Scholar
  2. Emma, F., Ventura-Traveset, J., Walker, R., Page, H., Lopez de Echazarreta, C., de Lophem, T.-L., Cross, M., Berglund, P., Nikolaidis, V.: Paper IAC-08-E1.1.2, “ESA Hands-on projects education strategy”. In: 59th International Astronautical Federation Congress, Glasgow, Scotland (2008)Google Scholar
  3. Galvinas, H., Krajcsi, P., Cserepes, J., Sarkadi, B.: Curr. Drug Delivery 1, 27–42 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Okubo, T., Tsuchida, A., Yoshimi, H., Taguchi, K., Kiriyama, S.: Colloid. Polym. Sci. 280, 228–233 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Pletser, V., Gharib, T., Gai, F., Mora, C., Rosier, P.: The 50 parabolic flight campaigns of the European Space Agency to conduct short duration microgravity research experimentation. In: Paper IAC-09-A2.5.1, 60th International Astronautical federation Congress, Daejeon, Korea (2009)Google Scholar
  6. Rozitis, B., Murdoch, N., Green, S.F., de Lophem, T.-L., Michel, P.: AstEx microgravity experiment: simulating asteroid regoliths. In: Paper IAC-09.A2.3.9, 60th International Astronautical federation Congress, Daejeon, Korea (2009)Google Scholar
  7. Toiya, M.: Onset of granular flows by local and global forcing. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1903/3886 (2006)
  8. van Loon, J.J.W.A., Krause, J., Cunha, H., Goncalves, J., Almeida, H., Schiller, P.: The Large Diameter Centrifuge, LDC, for life and physical sciences and technology. In: Proc. of the Life in Space for Life on Earth Symposium, Angers, France (2008). (ESA SP-663, December 2008)Google Scholar
  9. von Kampen, P., Kaczmarczik, U., Rath, H.J.: The new Drop Tower catapult system. Acta Astronautica. 59(1–5), 278–283 (2006)Google Scholar
  10. Wurm, G., Krauss, O.: Phys. Rev. Lett. 96, 134301 (2006). doi: 10.1103, Phys. Rev. Lett. 96.134301zbMATHGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natacha Callens
    • 1
  • Javier Ventura-Traveset
    • 1
  • Thomas-Louis de Lophem
    • 1
  • Carlos Lopez de Echazarreta
    • 1
  • Vladimir Pletser
    • 2
  • Jack J. W. A. van Loon
    • 3
  1. 1.European Space Agency (ESA), ESA-ESAC, LEX-COVVillanueva de la CañadaSpain
  2. 2.European Space Agency (ESA), ESA-ESTEC, D/HSF-UPSAG NoordwijkThe Netherlands
  3. 3.European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA), Dutch Experiment Support Center (DESC), ACTA, Dept. Oral Cell BiologyVU-UniversityBT AmsterdamThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations