This year ESA education has selected three teams to bring their experiments to another gravity level in the name of science. The campaign will take place from 5 to 16 September 2016 at the Large Diameter Centrifuge facility located at ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
During the preparation of their experiments, the students will be supported by ESA's Education Office and hypergravity experts. A member of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA) will also be at hand to provide advice and expertise in gravity-related research.
The selected teams and their experiments are the following:
PlanOx: This team composed of three PhD candidates and one master student from the Centre of Micro-BioRobotics at the Italian Institute of Technology in Pisa. The aim of their experiment is to induce oxidative stress in planarian worms by exposing these animals to hypergravity conditions, and to counteract the induced oxidative stress through the exploitation of a strong inorganic antioxidant, i.e., cerium oxide nanoparticles (nanoceria).
Achilles: This team composed of one PhD and three masters students from University of Minho and University of Porto will investigate the potential of hypergravity to be used as a tool to develop novel tissue engineering strategies for tendon regeneration.
HypE: This team team is composed of one master student from the University of Pisa and one PhD student from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna. The project will investigate the effect of hypergravity on human microvascular endothelial cells in order to better understand the effect of gravitational loading/unloading on this critical cell type.
This opportunity complements other gravity research opportunities offered by ESA’s Education Office, such as 'Fly Your Thesis!’, 'Drop Your Thesis!' and Rocket EXperiments for University Students/ Balloon Experiments for University Students – ‘REXUS/BEXUS’