Students invited to spin their theses

The centrifuge in action
6 September 2010

ESA is offering European students the opportunity to conduct hypergravity experiments, with a call for proposals for the 2011 ‘Spin Your Thesis!’ campaign.

This programme enables university students to carry out experiments in hypergravity using the Large Diameter Centrifuge in the agency’s ESTEC space research and technology centre in the Netherlands.

Examining samples

The centrifuge subjects samples to accelerations of 1–20 times Earth’s gravity. Each of the four arms can support two gondolas, with a maximum payload of 80 kg per gondola. In practice, six gondolas are available, plus one in the centre for control experiments.

The centrifuge is flexible in terms of experiment scenarios, duration and possible equipment. It allows experiments lasting anything from one minute to six months.

Preparing the experiment

Spin Your Thesis! calls for each team of students to design a scientific or technology experiment that requires hypergravity for a few hours or days, as part of their syllabus. Teams from ESA Member States and Cooperating States are encouraged to register on the ESA Education Office's project portal and upload their proposals by 10 December 2010.

A review board will select four teams to develop and perform their experiment during ESA’s Spin Your Thesis! 2011 campaign, in ESTEC in June 2011. This campaign will last two weeks, with two teams using the equipment each week.

During the Spin Your Thesis! project, the teams will be supported by ESA's Education Office, ESA hypergravity experts and members of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). ESA will offer financial support to cover part of the cost of the experiments, travel and accommodation.

For more information contact the Spin Your Thesis! team: spinyourthesis @

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