Kiruna, Sweden, at the Esrange launch facility for the Texus-56 sounding rocket launch with two ESA experiments: ICAPS is looking at how planet's are formed from dust and Perwaves is investigating a new type of flame by burning metal powder in zero gravity.
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 included in the ticket.
Once the rocket motors shut off, the experiments enter freefall, even though at this point they are still heading upwards. On the downward arc parachutes deploy and gravity takes over once again, lowering the experiments to the ground with impact speeds of around 8 m/s.
ESA has used sounding rockets for over 30 years to investigate phenomena under microgravity from Esrange in northern Sweden.
Experiments are held in circular containers with diameters of up to 60 cm. The containers are held by elastic dampers to reduce launch vibrations.