ESA is collaborating with the Université PSL in France for the creation of ESA_Lab@PSL, the latest addition to the ‘ESA_Lab@’ initiative which was established with the aim of intensifying collaboration with academia.
The new ESA_Lab@PSL programme with the Université PSL (Paris Sciences and Lettres) will promote research and innovation in topics of mutual interest based on human and robotic space exploration activities.
ESA’s European Astronaut Centre (EAC) will be the focus of initial collaborations, which will later be extended to other ESA establishments. PSL’s recently inaugurated Space Technological Complex at Observatoire de Paris will also play a major role, with its labs for the study, assembly, integration and testing of space experiments.
Many teams from PSL and EAC will be involved, applying a strong interdisciplinary tradition aimed at improving the living and working conditions of astronauts in space. ESA’s ‘Spaceship EAC’ team will provide internships in fields such as robotics, materials or life sciences. PSL Medicine/Science students will be able to specialise in space medicine through specific courses offered by EAC.
The programme will also encourage the contribution of other space actors through their participation in the initiative. Joint communication activities, such as seminars, conferences, lectures and events will be developed to share knowledge.
ESA will draw on the wide range of scientific fields within PSL, including astrophysics, physics, biology, chemistry and life sciences. These will involve many other PSL member institutions such as Ecole Normale Supérieure, Institut Curie, MINES ParisTech, Chimie ParisTech and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs.
ESA Director General Jan Wörner said, “We launched our Spaceship EAC initiative to tackle future space exploration challenges. The best way to do so is to open up to new sectors around us and engage with people outside the pure space sector. I am confident that this new collaboration will contribute to leading us to along the right path, for more research, innovation and the emergence of new ideas.”
President of PSL Prof. Alain Fuchs said, “Space has been at the forefront of current debates with the strengthening goal of preparing missions to Mars. They are the stuff of dreams for everyone, not least amongst which our students and researchers. PSL is proud to contribute to the work of ESA in opening new frontiers and understanding our Universe ever so slightly more."