Student teams selected for upcoming REXUS/BEXUS flights

7 January 2010

Following a workshop, held 15-17 December 2009 at the European Space Technology and Research Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, 10 student teams from ESA Member States and Co-operating States have been selected to fly their experiments on future sounding rocket and balloon campaigns.

The initial call for proposals for the REXUS 9 and 10 (Rocket EXperiments for University Students) and for the BEXUS 10 and 11 (Balloon EXperiments for University Students) flights was issued in September 2009.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).

The main objective of the workshop was for the shortlisted teams to give 20-minute presentations of their projects in front of experts from ESA, the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), as well as the other student participants. In addition to providing expert input for the development of the projects, this enabled other students to ask questions that could help in their own research.

The final experiment selection has been announced and the following teams were recommended for the next series of REXUS/BEXUS flights.

BEXUS 10/11

  • CASS-E (UK): Cranfield Astrobiological Stratospheric Sampling Experiment - demonstrating Planetary Protection and Contamination Control (PP&CC) protocols.
  • I-BATE (France): ISU-Balloon ATC Technology Experiment - proof of concept for space-based air traffic control with ADS-B receiver.
  • LAERTES (France): Characterization of the radiative environment at high altitude by measuring neutron flux.
  • SCOPE 2.0 (Poland): Stabilized Camera Observation Platform Experiment - video camera stabilization and control system.
  • SCRAT (Italy): Spherical Compact Rechargeable Air Thruster - test of a low-thrust cold-gas actuator.
  • SpaceFish (Spain): Experimental evaluation of high-performance fish-shaped re-entry vehicle.

REXUS 9/10

  • SPONGE (Italy): Sounding rocket Propellant OrieNtation microGravity Experiment - determining the propellant retention capabilities of the sponges used in rocket tanks.
  • SQUID (Sweden): Spinning QUad Ionospheric Deployer - wire-boom deployment system.
  • Telescobe (Ireland): Demonstration of a new telescopic boom system.
  • M-BEAM (Austria): Magnetic BEAring for brushless DC Motor - to allow maintenance-free operation of a gyroscope in microgravity.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme

REXUS sounding rocket
REXUS sounding rocket

Since the programme began, a large number of students have been given the opportunity to develop their experiments for flight on REXUS and BEXUS, enabling them to receive training from experts in the field and to gain significant hands-on experience in the design, development and operation of space-related projects.

The BEXUS 10 and 11 balloons will be launched in October 2010, whilst the REXUS 9 and 10 sounding rockets are scheduled to launch in March 2011. All flights will take place from Esrange Space Centre in northern Sweden.

A call for new experiment proposals is issued in September each year, with a deadline of mid-November.

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