This year’s REXUS campaign is starting on Monday 7 March, with the students travelling to the SSC Esrange Space Center in Northern Sweden.
On Tuesday morning final preparations and testing of the experiments and rocket systems will begin. The earliest possible launch windows will be on Tuesday 15 March for REXUS 20 and Thursday 17 March for REXUS 19. The rockets will carry eight experiments in total, designed and built by students from across Europe. Fifty-six of them are attending the launch campaign.
REXUS 19 will accommodate four university student experiments:
- PICARD from the UK, which will test the deployment and strain rigidisation of an inflatable conical helix antenna;
- SLED from Sweden, that will measure the carbon dioxide density in the mesosphere;
- LiME form Germany, that will test a novel communication scheme for future use on CubeSats;
- MIRKA2-RK, which will qualify the separation system and the electronics of a miniaturised reentry capsule.
The REXUS 20 payload will also be composed of four university student experiments:
- BOILUS from Spain, which will study the interaction between a boiling liquid and ultrasound in a milli-g environment;
- PATHOS from Germany, which will test a system to determine the attitude of a spacecraft by observing the curved horizon of the Earth;
- CEMIOS from Switzerland, that will measure the effect of milli-g on oocytes in order to determine the mechanism by which cells can detect gravity;
- UB-FIRE from Germany, which will study the propagation of flames in a milli-g environment.
More about the REXUS/ BEXUS programmes
The REXUS programme offers opportunities for student experiments to be flown on sounding rockets. Each flight carries a payload consisting solely of university student experiments. Its sister programme, BEXUS, offers the same opportunities using stratospheric balloons.
The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realized under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). Through the collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Swedish share has been made available to students from all ESA Member or Cooperating States. EuroLaunch, the cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from DLR, SSC, ZARM, and ESA provide technical and logistic support to the student teams throughout the project.
The next series of experiments in the REXUS/BEXUS programme were chosen in December 2015. A new call for proposals will be issued in mid-June 2016, with the deadline set for mid-October.