ESA title
ZARM Drop Tower

Applications requested for Drop Your Thesis! 2016

28/08/2015 1812 views 13 likes
ESA / Education / Drop Your Thesis!

ESA’s Education Office is offering university students an opportunity to perform a microgravity related experiment using the ZARM drop tower in Germany. 

The eighth Drop Your Thesis! (DYT) campaign will take place October - November 2016. Students from an ESA Member or Cooperating State are welcome to submit their experiment proposal.

Up to two teams of up to four bachelor, master or PhD students will be selected to conduct their microgravity experiment. DYT offers students the unique opportunity to conduct a series of microgravity experiments in the 146 m high ZARM Drop Tower Facility in Bremen, Germany, one of the most advanced research centres of its kind in Europe.

The experiment payload is integrated into a capsule which is allowed to fall freely attaining microgravity levels as low as 10-6 g for up to 9.3 seconds. The level of microgravity is better than that achieved in parabolic flights or even on orbital platforms (e. g. the International Space Station). In addition, the drop tower is extremely versatile so that an experiment set-up may be adjusted between consecutive launches. 

The proposals received will be evaluated by an expert review board which will select the winning team. The teams selected to participate in DYT 2016 will be supported by ESA's Education Office and ZARM engineers and will get the opportunity to be mentored by a member of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). The ESA Education Office will provide financial support to cover part of the campaign costs (travel and accommodation, and hardware for the experiment development).

An overview of the DYT programme can be found on the ESA Education website.
Instructions on how to apply are available here.

The submission deadline for DYT 2016 is December 17th, 2015.

For further information please send an e-mail to: dropyourthesis @

Student experiment
Student experiment

The value of Drop Your Thesis!

During the DYT programme, students not only have access to state-of-the-art research facilities but also receive valuable feedback from ESA, ZARM and ELGRA experts. The programme enables participants to develop important practical skills through hands-on activities, as well as learning about project management, problem solving, development and testing of hardware / software.

As a direct consequence of the research they conducted during DYT campaigns members of previous students have been able to present their results at international conferences and/or publish papers in leading scientific journals. DYT also provides opportunities to meet experts and work with them. The experience gained is an important addition to students’ curriculum vitae and increases their chance of being selected for future professional opportunities.

Drop Your Thesis! 2015

The DYT 2015 campaign took place 2-13 November, 2015. The selected team is composed of two MSc students from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. The team will investigate how liquids are absorbed by porous mediums. You can read more about the team here.

* ESA Member States in 2015
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,  Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Canada (Associate Member)
European Cooperating States
Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia
Cooperating States
Cyprus, Malta