Engineering students invited to fly experiments to the edge of space

REXUS sounding rocket. Image courtesy of SNSBĀ©
ESA is inviting students to propose experiments to fly on sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons. The winning teams will have the opportunity to design and build an experiment for the BEXUS balloons or the REXUS rockets.

The BEXUS (Balloon-borne Experiments for University Students) 12 and 13 balloons will be launched in October 2011 and the REXUS (Rocket-borne Experiments for University Students) 11 and 12 sounding rockets will be launched in March 2012, all from Kiruna in northern Sweden.

The REXUS/BEXUS programme has been established 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 an agreement with the European Space Agency (ESA).

EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign execution and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from ESA, SSC and DLR provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.

The flight opportunity is open to students aged between 18 and 28. Applicants must hold the nationality of an ESA Member State or Cooperating State and must be enrolled as a full time undergraduate or PhD student in a university in an ESA Member State or Cooperating State. The deadline for applications is 24 October 2010.

The best 12-15 team proposals will be shortlisted for consideration by a selection panel and announced on 29 October 2010. The shortlisted teams will be invited to participate in the ESA selection workshop at ESTEC, the Netherlands, at the end of November 2010.

Chris Shaw

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