ESA title
The A310 Zero-G operated by Novespace

Fly Your Thesis! 2021 call for proposals

22/05/2020 5135 views 27 likes
ESA / Education / Fly Your Thesis!

Take your research to a higher level

Imagine your experiment flying onboard the Airbus 310 Zero-G, experiencing free-fall conditions through multiple parabolas. You and/or your teammates are there to directly operate the experiment while discovering the exciting effects of weightlessness. Provided that it doesn’t require a too high quality level of microgravity and can be performed quickly, flying your experiment is a much cheaper option than launching it into space.

Status: OPEN
Deadline: October 25, 2020, 23:59 CET 

The Fly Your Thesis! (FYT) programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for students to propose, design, build, test and fly their experiment on board a parabolic flight. During the Parabolic Flight Campaign, operated by Novespace in Bordeaux, France, student teams are able to participate in three flights with 31 parabolas per flight. As one parabola contains approximately 22 seconds of microgravity, the teams experience over 10 minutes of microgravity per flight and can thus benefit from over 30 minutes of microgravity in total to achieve their scientific objectives. 

The free-floating Pulsating Heat Pipe, conceived by PHP3 Team
The free-floating Pulsating Heat Pipe, conceived by PHP3 Team

Previous FYT participation included the participation of the team PHP3, from the University of Brighton, United Kingdom. Their experiment aimed to study the efficacy of a Pulsating Heat Pipe under microgravity conditions, as the fluids circulation to regulate the device’s temperature is no more subjected to gravity. Their team leader  shares his return on experience: "The Fly Your Thesis! programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity to expand your research into the space domain. Giving any students the opportunity to not only test a hypothesis in a highly controlled microgravity environment, but to also join their experiment by flying alongside it and interacting with it in flight - this is an experience that is often only afforded to astronauts and select researchers around the world; and it is one that I could not recommend enough to anyone thinking about applying, everyone we have worked with on our journey from ESA and Novespace have been endlessly helpful and dedicated to making it the best experience possible for us."

FYT gives students the experience of working in a professional project environment, allows them to build their CVs and their professional network and hence fosters a good start to careers in Europe’s space industry. 

The selected teams will be supported in their preparations by ESA Academy, ESA and Novespace microgravity experts. The teams might also be offered an additional mentor of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) to further help them in their development. ESA Academy will provide some financial support in order to cover parts of travel and accommodation. 

Want to know how to become a part of FYT! 2021? Click here for information on how to apply, eligibility requirements, rules and regulations. Eligible teams should submit an accurately completed application pack before the deadline on October 4, 2020 23:59 CET. The important dates for this new edition can be found on the 2021 Schedule page

For further information please contact us at flyyourthesis @