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Microgravity Science and Technology

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 519–527

Advances in Gravity-related Phenomena in Biological, Chemical and Physical Systems


The Education Office of the European Space Agency ESA offers university students, from ESA Member and Cooperating States, the opportunity to perform investigations in physical sciences, life sciences, and technology, under different gravity conditions through three educational programmes. The -Fly Your Thesis!- FYT programme makes use of parabolic flights and the -Drop Your Thesis!- DYT programme utilizes a drop tower as microgravity carriers, while the -Spin Your Thesis!- SYT programme uses a large centrifuge to create hypergravity. To date, more than hundred university students had the chance to participate in the design, development, and performance of one or more experiments during dedicated campaigns. In the following paper, we examine demographics of past participants of the ESA Education Office gravity-related opportunities over the past seven years and evaluate the benefits of these educational programmes for the participants’ studies and careers. Student teams that participated in one of the programmes between 2009 and 2013 were contacted to fill in a questionnaire. The feedback from the students demonstrate significant benefits extending far beyond the primary educational objectives of these programmes.

KeywordsMicrogravity Hypergravity Parabolic flights Drop tower Centrifuge Education This article belongs to the Topical Collection: Advances in Gravity-relatedPhenomena in Biological, Chemical and Physical Systems

Guest Editors: Valentina Shevtsova, Ruth Hemmersbach

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Autor: Natacha Callens - Lily Ha - Piero Galeone


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