Short Arm Human Centrifuge

Spin Your Thesis! Human Edition

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ESA / Education / Spin Your Thesis! Human Edition

The Spin Your Thesis! – Human Edition (SYT-HE) programme offers university students (bachelor, master and PhD level) the opportunity to perform non-invasive experiments investigating the human physiological response to exercises employed on the International Space Station (ISS) when performed in 1g (standing upright on Earth) and in different levels of centrifugal acceleration on a human centrifuge.

A combination of artificial gravity provided by a human centrifuge and exercise has been proposed as way to mitigate the physiological de-conditioning associated with microgravity and thereby support human health during long-term space missions. Researchers need to define what kind of exercise should be part of a new training protocol during centrifugation.

A unique Short Arm (3.8 m radius) Human Centrifuge was developed by the DLR Institute of Aerospace Medicine within :envihabfacility in Cologne (Germany), upon which participants can perform a range of exercises whilst being spun. :envihab is located next door to the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), the home of European Human Spaceflight.

The Spin your Thesis! Human Edition programme provides to university students the opportunity to perform experimental research on the Short Arm Human Centrifuge, usually only accessible to professionals.

The student experimental proposals may cover any physiological system and shall be selected by a team of scientists and experts based on scientific (or medical) relevance, feasibility, novelty and educational benefit.

After selection teams will be asked to develop and conduct their experiment within approximately 6 months; including a 2-day visit to the DLR/EAC facilities to define the protocol. Once ethical committee permission has been received the student teams will be granted the opportunity to access the DLR Short Arm Human Centrifuge for 7 days (2 dry run and 5 test days). After the campaign is over, the results will need to be processed and documented. A more detailed timeline can be found here. Furthermore, ESA and DLR strongly encourage the research results to be presented at international conferences and published in high impact journals.

If you are interested in participating in the next Spin your Thesis! Human Edition campaign, please check the links on the left side of this page, and see how you can propose an experiment.