ESA research announcements are the official access routes for institutional users to use research facilities managed by ESA's Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration. The Science Department of ESA’s Human Spaceflight and Exploration Directorate recently undertook an extensive exercise to create a new strategy, focusing on a set of newly-defined goals to positively shape its research programme and maximise research.
Scientists are strongly encouraged to address at least one the topics highlighted in the document above in their proposal. The following research announcement opportunities are available:
Joint DLR/ESA Announcement of Opportunity: Research under spaceflight conditions utilising live fluorescent microscopic imaging (ISS FLUMIAS Microscope)
This joint Announcement of Opportunity by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and European Space Agency (ESA) solicits proposals to use live fluorescent microscopic imaging with the International Space Station's FLUMIAS microscope system. Proposed experiments should address topics linked in the SciSpacE roadmaps. It is anticipated that this AO is primarily be of interest for biological research, although other research domains (e.g. complex fluids) are considered in scope if compatible with the capabilities of the instrument.
Deadline for submission of Letter of Intent (non-binding) – 3rd March 2020
Deadline for submission of Proposals – Extended to 20 May 2020
Topical Team opportunity
ESA has a long history of supporting so-called Topical Teams to enhance European collaboration and focus on research. Topical Teams, depending on their subject, include experts from European universities, research entities and industries who together formulate succinct and relevant proposals for comprehensive research. Support to new Topical Teams in the “Science in the Space Environment (SciSpacE)” programme will continue and expanded to multidisciplinary research to increase international collaboration.
The Bremen drop tower is one of the tallest and best-known drop tower facilities in Europe. At the heart of the facility is the 146-m tall tower surrounded by support facilities that include control rooms, laboratories and workshops. Capsules are released from a height of 120 m offering 4.74 s of microgravity experiment time. The capsule experiences a deceleration of up to 50 g after the experiment is completed. Through this continuously-open research announcement, scientists are invited to apply with experiment proposals that use the unique capabilities of the drop tower.
Ground-based facilities programme
ESA's ground-based facilities programme is a highly valuable low-cost tool allowing scientists to push forward their understanding of basic science aspects, preparing for more complex spaceflight experiments and advancing human and biological aspects for exploration. Through this continuously-open research announcement, scientists are invited to apply with experiment proposals that use the capabilities of the facilities in this programme.
Facilities that would like to join ESA's pool of Ground Based Facilities programme and allow research to be conducted can use this Application Template Word document
Investigating biological effects of space radiation
Radiation in space is considered a potential ‘show-stopper’ for human exploration of space. ESA' programme "Investigating biological effects of space radiation" (IBER) was formed to advance knowledge that is needed sustain long-duration human exploration missions. This continuously-open research announcement scientists are invited to apply with experiment proposals that use the capabilities of the facilities that are part of IBER.
Microgravity Application Promotion
Due to funding issues, this programme has been discontinued. The Microgravity Application Promotions programme will be continued in 2020 in an evolved form within ESA's Business in Space Growth Network (for more information, please go to: http://youbenefit.spaceflight.esa.int/commercialisation-of-research-and-applications-in-space/)
Parabolic flights are the only sub-orbital carriers that allow scientists to run biological, biomedical and physiological experiments in microgravity or other (reduced) gravity levels. In addition to testing facilities before use in space, parabolic flights validate operational and experimental procedures, and train astronauts for future spaceflight. Through this continuously-open research announcement, scientists are invited to apply with experiment proposals that use the the parabolic flight aircraft.
Sounding rockets launch experiments to the edge of space before falling back to Earth. These flights can carry 100-kg experiments up to 750 km high with up to 13 minutes of microgravity. Through this continuously-open research announcement, scientists are invited to apply with experiment proposals that use the sounding rocket launches that participate in this programme.
Research opportunities in 2020–2022 for ESA-sponsored sounding rockets are almost filled, this research announcement will therefore be temporarily closed from 30 June 2020.
Proposals submitted before 30 June 2020 will still be evaluated and – subject to a high science merit score as well as technical feasibility – will be considered for implementation in the 2020–2022 period.
Proposals submitted after 30 June 2020 will not be accepted nor considered for implementation for the 2020–2022 period.
This research announcement will be re-opened in the course of 2021 to solicit experiments that will be implemented in 2023–2025.