"Fly Your Thesis!" 2012 campaign – impressions from the student teams
Hydronauts2Fly Student Team - Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture
Manuel Kollmar, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
Manuel Kollmar: "Experiencing microgravity for the first time and the first 10 parabolas was a weird feeling. You could really feel the liquids shifting in your body. Besides that, microgravity was not much of a problem for me."
"There were a few issues with computer, force sensor, and hard disk, but besides that our experiment went smoothly. All subjects behaved as expected. From a mechanical point of view, the experiment setup behaved perfectly. The software worked, despite only two of the three cameras being triggered by the computer; we retrieved all of the expected data. There were no issues for the subject, despite him being blindfolded and listening only to music. You just had to trust the operator."
Sebastian Diehl, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"I was surprised that it was so easy on the stomach. I expected to get sick, but had no problems. Microgravity is quite interesting. My face felt quite puffy from the blood streaming in. It felt like being underwater without water – without any resistance. We expected software errors when using two cameras as opposed to the nominal three, but we didn’t get any."
"As a test subject, the setup was comfortable. You just had to float up and wait."
Thomas Dirlich, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"It was wonderful to fly again. A perfect flight. Special thanks to the team. The mechanics worked like clockwork. It was interesting to see everything work from a scientific point of view. We saw some interesting postures and effects in flight. We are ready to start looking at the data. The setup is fascinating, and there will be some interesting results to come."
Martin Kaspar, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"Microgravity was not as strange as I expected. In the first 11 parabolas I was the test subject, and blindfolded. It was something special, but perhaps not the same full experience of the others, because I could not see. It felt very similar to being underwater. When I was released from the test subject role, I started getting excited, seeing people doing fun stuff. I started feeling safer, and doing more."
"The experiment went perfectly. The operators took care for me. I never felt insecure. I couldn’t give my colleague Boris as much support as I would have liked because he was already sick. He was alright though, and we got some good data."
Clemens Plank, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"I clearly remember the first 5-10 seconds of weightlessness. It was like being high from one second to the next. The brain had no idea what was going on. The more parabolas I did the more I got used to it. Now I feel exhausted, physically and mentally. I am tired but happy. I felt the 2g phase the most when I visited the cockpit, which was an amazing experience."
"The experiment went pretty well. The camera that previously had issues had issues again, so we exchanged it as on the last flight; but we didn’t lose any parabolas of data. The computer was working from the very beginning. No one got sick while they were a test subject. I am proud that we felt so good without scopolamine."
Boris Werner, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"Microgravity was really awesome. During the first parabolas, the feeling is astonishing. It is like being on a swing at the very top, but not just for a second, for a very long time. I loosened my restraining strap, so in the end I was floating but also helping the subject of the test. I was always able to support the head of the subject. I enjoyed the 2g phase which was the most relaxing. No problems with the 0g and 2g. I got sick in 1g. I went back to the seat and I could look out and see the horizon turning sideways and going back again, which was a nice view. I was floating with a loose seatbelt."
"The experiment went very well. I can’t say for myself, but as an operator for the first few parabolas Martin was very calm. Today was a really good day. Today we torqued the bar to rotate the subject, so that we didn’t have to touch him; it worked very well. We retrieved 31 parabolas of data without problems."
Katja Schmid, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"It was awesome. The craziest thing in the beginning was that I forgot to hold on to something and I was pushed to the ceiling. And I was hanging there and they were trying to get me back. I was floating on the ceiling. Like when you are a little kid on a swing, that’s what it felt like."
"The experiment worked just fine, everything went well. Being a test subject was the best part. It was really relaxing, you just lie there. I almost fell asleep while just floating around in microgravity."
Georg Basta, Verification of the Human Neutral Body Posture, Germany
"It was great, amazing. It really was amazing. The first time I had the blindfold on so I didn’t see very much. The 2g phase was unusual. I don’t know how to describe the 0g phase. When I was free floating I didn’t know exactly what to do. I pushed myself away from the rack and it was too much, and then I was at the wall of the plane, and I bumped my head. Slowly I had to get used to the feeling that you only have to give a little push to move."
"When I was in the rack I was surprised that I was so calm and relaxed. The experiment went really well. Nobody was sick during the experiment. One parabola was aborted, nobody knew that it was going to stop, and I came down hard. It must have made a loud noise because everyone was worried about me. I think that it will be useful data."
LINVforROS Student Team - Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in plants during gravity changing conditions:
Diego Comparini, Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in plants during gravity changing conditions, Italy
"The flight was awesome!! We were both nervous in the beginning but after the first parabola we knew that we will never forget this day :). There aren't words to describe what you feel when you through from the first 2g phase to zero g. At the end of the last parabola I was looking forward for tomorrow to try a new one period of zero g!"
"Our first impression of the experiment is good. The time in the morning to prepare the samples was enough. The instrument (multireader) didn't break and it was working just as well as on the ground which is very good. We could register data from each parabolas without any loss. We performed a preliminary analysis of our data: we have a good number of signals and also their intensity it is not as low as we expected, so we will mainly focus on the possibility to have registered false positive and we will try to understand this during the next flights."
Emanuela Monetti, Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in plants during gravity changing conditions, Italy
"Thanks to ESA Education and the Novespace team for this great opportunity!! This experience was for me one of the best in my life."
"It is an unusual experience but it is fun :). Today was our second experimental flight. We still have to process all the data obtained today and yesterday , but we are sure the results obtained will be very original."
Dustbrothers Student Team – Levitation of sintered glass plates by Knudsen Compressor effect:
Christophe Dürmann, Levitation of sintered glass plates by Knudsen Compressor effect, Germany
"A parabolic flight is an amazing and indescribable opportunity. I am very happy I could have this experience."
"The experiment worked just as we expected. Future data analysis will show the quality of the recorded data, but we are confident it will be quite good."
Markus Küpper, Levitation of sintered glass plates by Knudsen Compressor effect, Germany
"On the first flight day it was quite a sensation to be weightless. On the 2nd flight day I knew I would not get sick and our experiment worked well - this took the pressure off, so I really could enjoy the experience. The great experience is when you become weightless, it first feels like falling, this is what you can feel in a rollercoaster, but then you are flying weightless - it is really great." "Our experiment worked great!"
Caroline De Beule, Levitation of sintered glass plates by Knudsen Compressor effect, Germany
"Being weightless is an experience you cannot explain and neither forget. It was great! You cannot describe how free floating feels like, you have to experience it! The Scopolamine made me a little sleepy at first, but after the first parabola I had so much adrenaline that I couldn't even think about sleeping. Flying around, turning and walking upside down, everything was great! And by the way: our experiment ran very well, seems we have collected some gut data! ;-)"
Last update: 30 October 2012