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ESA / Education / Orbit Your Thesis

This section gathers guidelines for the documents applicants have to submit, as well as the technical documentation from Space Application Services defining the technical constraints the experiment has to follow.

List of documents

The required deliverables to apply for the programme Orbit Your Thesis! are as follows:

Letter of intent
The letter of intent shall define the topic of interest of the experiment. It shall also contain the name of the team and the data of the team members (focus on diversity, inclusiveness and scientific/engineering balance), including their birthdates, citizenships and universities.If possible, this letter will also identify a professor/academic supervisor. The letter of intent does not freeze the final composition of the team and this information can be subject to changes.

Privacy notice and consent form
The privacy notice and consent form constitute an agreement between ESA and the applicants on the collection and further processing of personal data, image and voice. This form has to be read and send to ESA Education ratified.

Experiment proposal
In the experiment proposal, the applicants shall first define the members of their team and name a professor/academic supervisor. After highlighting their project objectives, the students are expected to show an accurate knowledge of the scientific / technical background of their project as well as a solid understanding of how they will realise their experiment – in both a qualitative and quantitative way, with a particular attention to the safety issues. In other words, participants are invited to explain what they intend to investigate and how they are going to implement their experiment.

Prior to completing this experiment proposal template, teams should carry out some research of the scientific literature to see whether some work has already been done on the same topic or one that is similar. References to the literature are essential in order to demonstrate that teams are fully informed about the current status of research in this field. The experiment proposal must also explain the relevance of the ISS environment as a means to achieve your scientific research objectives.

It is important that applicants explain in full detail how the proposed experiment is related to their syllabi. They should indicate which academic projects they are involved in and how their proposed experiment would be relevant to these projects. The proposals shall also clarify unequivocally how the student teams intend to cope with a possible turn-over, in order to replace team members who might decide to leave the project or have completed their academic degree.

The text of the proposal should be intelligible to scientists of various fields and engineers with a general science background.

Preliminary questionnaire
Like the experiment proposal, the preliminary questionnaire shall focus on the scientific and/or technology - related objectives of the project as well as on the technical details for the implementation of the experiment.

First version of the EFSDP
The Experiment Flight Safety Data Package (EFSDP) highlights all the technical aspects of the experiment related to safety that could jeopardize the accommodation and utilization on board the ISS. This PowerPoint shall be completed as much as possible and will be subject to several iterations may the team be selected.

Letter of endorsing professor
The endorsing professor has to explicitly endorse the team through an official letter (academic letter head) in which he/she pledges his/her support to all the team members as well as the proposed project. More specifically, the endorsing professor or academic supervisor should clearly state that he/she supports the students’ application and that he/she accepts responsibility for their Orbit Your Thesis! project.

Technical constraints

You can find here the documents defining the technical constraints related to the use of Ice Cubes Facility.