Science & Exploration

Science programme during the DELTA Mission

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ESA / Science & Exploration / Human and Robotic Exploration / Delta Mission

The following is an overview of the scientific experiments that ESA astronaut André Kuipers will conduct during his stay on board the International Space Station.

Physiology experiments

  • CIRCA - 24-hour pattern of blood pressure and heart rate in weightlessness
  • HEART - Physiological parameters that predict orthostatic intolerance after spaceflight
  • MOP - Motion Perception: Vestibular adaptation to G-transitions
  • MUSCLE - Study of lower back pain in astronauts during spaceflight
  • ETD - Measurement by Eye Tracking Device in orientation of the Listing’s plane

Biology experiments

  • ACTIN - The role of weightlessness on actin metabolism in mammalian cells
  • FLOW - Bone cell mechanosensitivity in weightlessness
  • ICE-first - First International C.elegans Experiment : Physiological and genomic study of a nematode worm in space
  • KAPPA - The influence of weightlessness on the activation of the NF-êB protein
  • TUBUL - Influence of gravity on the cytoskeleton and the determination of the division plane in plants


  • SAMPLE - Study of the composition, physiology and possible adaptation of microbial communities exposed to weightlessness

Physical science experiments

  • ARGES - Determination of de-mixing and instabilities in metal halide lamps in weightlessness

Earth observation

  • LSO - Lightning and Sprite Observation

Technology demonstrations

  • HEAT - Heat transfer performance of a grooved heat pipe
  • MOT - Mouse Telemeter: Calibration of “STAR accelerometers”
  • SUIT - Tactile display aided orientation awareness

Educational projects

  • ARISS - Amateur Radio on the International Space Station
  • BugNRG - Study of output of bacterial fuel cells in weightlessness
  • GraPhoBox - Study into interaction of effect of light and gravity on the growth processes of plants
  • SEEDS - "Seeds in Space"
  • VIDEO-3 - Educational demonstration of human physiology