Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

European students to fly in zero-gravity

In October this year around 120 student researchers from across Europe will get a chance to experience near-zero gravity. The European Space Agency (ESA) will send the students to the skies in a specially adapted Airbus A-300. It will take off from the Bordeaux-Mérignac airpor...
In October this year around 120 student researchers from across Europe will get a chance to experience near-zero gravity. The European Space Agency (ESA) will send the students to the skies in a specially adapted Airbus A-300. It will take off from the Bordeaux-Mérignac airport in France to carry out experiments in weightlessness and test instruments and equipment prior to spaceflight.

ESA is organising the excursion as an educational opportunity for European undergraduates to design their own micro-gravity experiments - and test them in flight. ESA also hope the initiative will raise the profile of science and technology in the eyes of young Europeans and stimulate local support for student teams.

Students must be over 18 to gain a place on the flight, for which they must submit (by 31 March) the preliminary designs for their experiments. The short listed designs will be announced in mid-April, in time for the final selection process and winners to be announced in June.

Exceptional experiments may also be invited by ESA to re-fly on a professional parabolic flight campaign at a later stage, and the Agency is looking into the feasibility of flying some to the International Space Station, according to the competition announcement.
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