Future scientists to attend 'Life in Space' programme

ESA astronaut Pedro Duque conducting Cardiocog, a Life Science experiment, during the Cervantes Mission
27 August 2004

From 6 to 17 September, ESA will support the two-week 'Life in Space' programme at the Arago Laboratory in Banyuls-sur-Mer, France. Thirty-five life sciences students attending the course will be introduced to the latest European research in space biology through an intensive programme of lectures and workshops.

With the building of the International Space Station and the development of planetary missions (in particular to Mars), exciting new opportunities will arise in the field of life sciences. These challenges not only rely on cooperation at European and worldwide levels, but also on the adequate education of scientists specialising in the space environment.


Oceanological Observatory
Hosted by the Oceanological Observatory in Banyuls-sur-Mer

The goal of this intensive course is to introduce the students to the range of space-related biological disciplines in which research is being carried out in Europe. Students will attend lectures on the space environment, the origins of life, and the role of gravity in cellular, animal and plant development. Throughout the two weeks, the students will also create their own life science experiments, practicing practical science as well as teamwork.

ESA experts

As the main non-academic partner, ESA will contribute by organising three lectures, which will be presented by ESA experts:

  • Bed rest: A ground based analogue to spaceflight (Dr. P. Jost)
  • University student experiments on board the International Space Station (Dr. R. Schonenborg)
  • Flight opportunities for microgravity life sciences (Dr E. Brinckmann)

During an e-learning session students will also follow a lecture given by an ESA astronaut.


The ERASMUS/SOCRATES-supported course is carried out in collaboration with five European universities, namely University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris VI, France, in cooperation with the Banyuls Laboratory; University of Bonn, Germany; University of Sassari, Italy; University of Nottingham, England and Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.

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