Ground Based Facilities

Research capabilities offered by ground based facilities not only improve the preparation of space flight experiments, but can also further scientific knowledge of the basic influence of gravity or other space or planetary conditions on life-, physical-, and interdisciplinary- processes in general.

The advantage of using ground based facilities will also considerably increase the potential for experimenting under simulated space conditions as compared to real space and microgravity access possibilities, which at present are still limited.

This will allow for more comprehensive research programmes, making them compatible with earth-based research activities, and will favour the development of a strong community of scientists from all disciplines keen to include space relevant research into their daily scientific activities.

Wide range of functions offered

The facilities are providing for a wide range of functions mimicking space typical conditions but also planetary conditions and special Earth environments.

Such functions are presently covering:

  • bed rest
  • hypokinesia
  • metabolic balances, hypergravity (centrifuges), confinement
  • pressurisation chambers
  • climate chambers, telemedicine
  • behaviour
  • body-metrics, remote isolation, radiation, movement analysis (body), human rated linear and angular accelerator, magnetic resonance, tomography
  • high resolution echography, physical & skills training biofeedback, absence of sedimentation (random positioning machines, clinostats, magnetic levitators), phytotron, artificial ecosystems, extreme environments
  • space power, integrated bioprocesses
  • tissue engineering, small animals facility, crystallisation, and surface tension.

Continuously Open Research Announcement (CORA)

In order to better cope with the need to respond rapidly with the need for accessing a GBF, ESA has implemented a Fast-Track evaluation process for proposals with a threshold maximal cost for ESA of 50 kEuro. Proposals within that range are evaluated at any time, i.e. also independently of the classical international announcement of opportunities.

Please note that only proposals from science teams requesting access to a facility outside of their own country can be accepted for funding via ESA's Ground Based Facility programme.

For more information on the access processes of CORA please consult the CORA document in the download area in right hand column.

Point of contact

The Ground Based Facilities database comprises more facilities than mentioned in the right hand column. For specific questions on whether or not a facility is in our database please contact:

Jennifer Ngo-Anh
E-mail: Jennifer.Ngo-Anh@esa.int
Tel: +31 71 565 8609

Last update: 22 December 2011

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