Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Busy weeks ahead for high-flying students

16.07.2003


From 16 to 31 July, 32 international student teams of researchers will gather in Bordeaux, France, to fly their experiments in zero-gravity on board a specially adapted Airbus A-300.



This year’s Student Parabolic Flight Campaign, organised by ESA’s Education Office, will see experiments performed in a variety scientific areas including physics, human biology, material science and robotics, some using objects as diverse as jelly and moths.

Four flights in two weeks


During the fortnight four parabolic flights will take place. The Airbus A-300, operated on behalf of ESA by the French company Novespace, will take off from Bordeaux-Mérignac airport and fly out high above France’s Atlantic coast. Thirty-one parabolas will be performed during each flight, with each parabola providing about 20 seconds of weightlessness.

As part of a special science week in Belgium, and to promote ESA’s parabolic flight campaigns within the Belgian student community, the first flight of this campaign will take off from Bordeaux and land in Brussels, a first for ESA.

The 32 teams have been divided into two groups, with half flying in the first week and half in the second week. In all over 120 students will participate in the campaign, together representing universities from 15 countries.

Being on board a parabolic flight brings all kinds of new sensations, quite unlike anything experienced on Earth. To help the students concentrate on their experiments during the main campaign flights, they will also fly on a shorter five-parabola familiarisation flight. Throughout this flight the students will be safely buckled into their seats in the front cabin area.

Jelly balls and moths

The students have already had to work hard to get to Bordeaux. After two selection rounds, the students have been working flat out on constructing their experiments since the beginning of April. On this campaign, the students are no less inventive than in previous years.

One team from Germany, will be using balls made of jelly to model planet oscillations. The other teams will be pleased to know that their experiment will be safely encased in a watertight container.

Another unusual subject will be carried on board by the team from Imperial College, London. They will be observing the flight of moths in weightlessness. By looking at how the moths adapt to their new environment, the team hopes to gain an insight into the possibility of animal life adapting to gravity on other planets.

There will also be experiments on board which are orientated towards human spaceflight applications, such as a team from France who will be investigating the effectiveness of glue repairs done in weightlessness, and a team from Denmark who will be testing their isolation platform which they hope will provide a vibration free environment in which to perform experiments in zero-g.

Outreach and education

As part of ESA’s Outreach and Education Programme, the student parabolic flight campaigns aim to educate and motivate the students. It is hoped that the campaigns will stimulate the students to think about space and the potential of gravity-related research. Perhaps for some it may even influence their future career choice.

A few students may even be given the chance to re-fly their experiment – the best experiments from the student campaign will fly again on one of ESA’s professional parabolic campaigns.

Online diary

Throughout the campaign ESA will be publishing a diary written by the students telling all about their experiences in Bordeaux and on board the ’Zero-G’ Airbus.

Dieter Isakeit | ESA
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/export/esaHS/SEM93GXO4HD_index_0.html

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Bergamotene - alluring and lethal for Manduca sexta
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How to color a lizard: From biology to mathematics
13.04.2017 | Université de Genève

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>