Christmas came early for eight student teams when SNSB and ESA selected their experiments to fly to the edge of space as part of the 2015-2016 German-Swedish REXUS/BEXUS programme. The selected SNSB/ESA teams comprise members studying in eight different ESA Member States. They were announced a week after the selection workshop in which 68 students in 14 different teams, coming from 11 ESA's Member States participated. The workshop took place at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, from 2 to 4 December 2014. The participants made presentations of their sounding rocket or stratospheric balloon project to a panel of experts from ESA, SNSB, SSC, ZARM and DLR. They also participated in technical lectures and visited the Erasmus User Centre for the International Space Station.
Former REXUS students speaking about the programme's benefits
The teams selected for the REXUS 19 and 20 rocket flights are:
BOILUS (Boiling management by means of ultrasounds in microgravity conditions),Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain;
CEMIOS (Electrophysiological study investigating cellular effects of weightlessness induced oocyte samples), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts University of Bern, Switzerland;
PICARD (Prototype Inflatable Conical Antenna - REXUS Deployment), University of Strathclyde and University of Birmingham, United Kingdom;
SLED (System of free-falling units using LEDs to allow one to track the other), Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
The teams selected for the BEXUS 20 and 21 balloon flights are:
CPT-SCOPE (Cosmic Particle Telescope), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway, Freie Universität, , Technische Universität, Beuth Hochschule für Technik, Germany;
FREDE 2015 (CFC Decay Experiment), Wroclaw University of Technology, University of Wroclaw, Poland;
HACORD (High Altitude Cosmic Ray Detector), University of Antwerp, Belgium;
SPADE (SPADE Smartphone Platform for Acquisition of Data Experiment), Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.
REXUS 12 Suaineadh experiment
“The REXUS/BEXUS Selection Workshop has been a great experience from which we have been able to benefit academically and personally. It was three intense days which provided us the opportunity to learn what other research is being developed by other students around Europe as well as get to know the students themselves. We also met the experts and listened to their comments. The lectures provided us a new perspective to analyse our project and improve our experiment,” said a member of the REXUS BOILUS team.
REXUS/BEXUS stands for Rocket / Balloon EXperiments for University Students. The German-Swedish student programme has been running for 7 years. In that time, more than 600 students have been involved, 12 rockets and 14 balloons have been launched with 92 experiments in total. Two additional REXUS rockets including 8 experiments will be launched in March 2015.
The newly chosen experiments will fly on BEXUS 20 and 21 balloons in autumn 2015, while the REXUS 19 and 20 sounding rockets are scheduled to launch in spring 2016. All flights will take place from the SSC Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.
The REXUS/BEXUS programme incorporates a near space mission project life cycle, including preliminary, critical, integration and acceptance reviews, a thorough integration and testing campaign, launch and follow up activities. This provides invaluable experience for the students who may be contemplating a career in aerospace.
"Our team enjoyed the unique experience to present our project, CPT-SCOPE, in front of an international panel of experts and to meet like-minded students from all across Europe. Getting to know them was great and is important in view of a future network of space professionals,” said a member of the BEXUS CTP-SCOPE team.
Rexus / Bexus students at the selection workshop
In addition to these SNSB/ESA teams, DLR Space Administration has also selected 6 German student experiments to be flown on the same launch vehicles. The fourteen selected student teams will be invited to DLR Oberpfaffenhofen from 9 to 13 February 2015 to participate to the Student Training Week.
This will include lectures on relevant scientific and engineering topics, detailed explanations of the launch vehicle systems, tours of the facilities and 'Ask an Expert' discussion sessions. During this event each team will also perform their preliminary design review.
"To reach your goal you will need to be open to learn and work hard but do not forget have fun too,” said the BOILUS team of the challenges that lay ahead.
A call for new experiment proposals will issued mid-June 2015, with a deadline of mid-October the same year.
Notes for editors:
The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).
EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of SSC and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from DLR, SSC, ZARM and ESA provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.