European User Guide to Low-Gravity Platforms

The European Users Guide to Low Gravity Platforms provides an overview of the five low gravity platforms sponsored by ESA, including details of how they are made available to people wishing to use them for either scientific, educational or commercial purposes.

The five platforms covered by this Guide are:

  • Drop tower
  • Parabolic flights
  • Sounding rockets
  • Foton retrievable capsules
  • International Space Station (ISS)

The Guide does not seek to lay down rules, but as its name suggests, simply offers guidance to understand whether or not the capabilities and resources provided by each of the five platforms meet the Users' requirements.

The Guide has been written with the intention of satisfying three groups:
  • The general public
  • Potential users of ESA sponsored low gravity platforms
  • Current/experienced users of ESA sponsored low gravity platforms
Click on the links below to download the pdf files:

(Note: Revision 3 of the European Users Guide to Low Gravity Platforms is in progress)

Cover page, table of contents, etc.
The Access Processes
Drop Tower
Parabolic Flights
Sounding Rockets
Foton Retrievable Capsules
International Space Station (ISS)


International Space Station (ISS)
Advanced Reentry Vehicle (ARV)
ATV-2 Johannes Kepler
ATV-3 Edoardo Amaldi
European Robotic Arm (ERA)
H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV)
ISS Ground segment and Columbus Control Centre (COL-CC)
Node 2
Node 3
Orbital Sciences Cygnus Cargo Vehicle
Progress Cargo Vehicle
Soyuz spacecraft
SpaceX Dragon Cargo Vehicle

Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space (ACES)
Counter Measure Devices
Environment Control and Life Support System (ECLSS)
European Drawer Rack (EDR)
European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS)
European Physiology Modules (EPM)
European Technology Exposure Facility (EuTEF)
European Transport Carrier (ETC)
Fluid Sciences Laboratory (FSL)
International Berthing Docking Mechanism (IBDM)
Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System (MARES)
Materials Sciences Laboratory (MSL)
Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG)
Minus Eighty Laboratory Freezer for the ISS (MELFI)
Pulmonary Function System (PFS)

Download all available PDF documents in a ZIP file

Download Adobe Reader

For a printed and/or CD-Rom version of the Guide contact:

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