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Artigues-près-Bordeaux, France

Callens N.,European Space Agency | Ventura-Traveset J.,European Space Agency | Zornoza Garcia-Andrade E.,European Space Agency | Gomez-Calero C.,European Space Agency | And 7 more authors.
61st International Astronautical Congress 2010, IAC 2010 | Year: 2010

This paper will introduce three new European Space Agency (ESA) Education Office hands-on activities. These educational programmes give respectively access to aircraft parabolic flight, drop tower and centrifuge campaigns to students from ESA Member and Cooperating States. They offer university students the unique opportunity to design, build, and eventually perform, in microgravity or hypergravity, a scientific or technological experiment which is linked to their syllabus. During the "Fly Your Thesis!" campaigns, the students accompany their experiments onboard the A300 Zero-G aircraft, operated by the company Novespace, based in France, for a series of three flights of 30 parabolas each, with each parabola providing about 20s of microgravity. The first campaign in autumn 2009 involved four student teams. A second one will be held in March 2011 and the pre-selection for the third edition of the programme was announced in September 2010. "Drop Your Thesis!" campaigns are held in the ZARM Drop Tower in Germany. The installation delivers 4.74s of microgravity in dropping mode and 9.3s in the catapulting mode. The first campaign was held in October 2009 and involved one student team. The second campaign is foreseen for autumn 2010 and a call for proposals for the third edition of the programme will be launched at the end of September 2010. Research topics such as fluid physics, fundamental physics, biology, material sciences, heat transfer or astrophysics can greatly benefit from using microgravity platforms. Finally, "Spin Your Thesis!" campaigns take place in the Large Diameter Centrifuge facility at ESTEC, in the Netherlands. This facility offers an acceleration from 1 to 20 times Earth's gravity. The use of hypergravity allows completing the scientific picture of how gravity has an impact on a system over the whole acceleration spectrum, but can address as well specifically problems which require these high g-levels. A wide range of hypergravity experiments can be performed in this facility, including biological, biochemical, physical, material and fluid sciences, geology or plasma physics. The first student campaigns were held in June and September 2010 and involved four student teams. A call for proposals for the second edition of the programme was launched in September 2010. The ESA Education Office financially supports the cost of the campaigns, part of the hardware development, as well as necessary travel and accommodation of the selected student teams. A European Low Gravity Research Association mentor, i.e. a scientist specialized in gravity-related research, supports each student team throughout these educational programmes. Copyright ©2010 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.

Pletser V.,European Space Agency | Rouquette S.,French National Center for Space Studies | Friedrich U.,German Aerospace Center | Clervoy J.-F.,Novespace | And 3 more authors.
Advances in Space Research | Year: 2015

Aircraft parabolic flights repetitively provide up to 23 s of reduced gravity during ballistic flight manoeuvres. Parabolic flights are used to conduct short microgravity investigations in Physical and Life Sciences and in Technology, to test instrumentation prior to space flights and to train astronauts before a space mission. The use of parabolic flights is complementary to other microgravity carriers (drop towers, sounding rockets), and preparatory to manned space missions on board the International Space Station and other manned spacecraft, such as Shenzhou and the Chinese Space Station CSS. The European Space Agency (ESA), the 'Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales' (CNES, French Space Agency) and the 'Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.' (DLR, the German Aerospace Centre) have used the Airbus A300 ZERO-G for research experiments in microgravity, and at Moon and Mars gravity levels, from 1997 until October 2014. The French company Novespace, a subsidiary of CNES, based in Bordeaux, France, is in charge of the organisation of Airbus A300 ZERO-G flights. A total of 104 parabolic flight campaigns have been organised by ESA, CNES and DLR since 1997, including 38 ESA, 34 CNES and 23 DLR microgravity campaigns, two Joint European ESA-CNES-DLR Partial-g Parabolic Flight Campaigns, and seven ESA Student campaigns. After 17 years of good and loyal services, this European workhorse for microgravity research in parabolic flights has been retired. The successor aircraft, the Airbus A310 ZERO-G, is being prepared for a first ESA-CNES-DLR cooperative campaign in Spring 2015. This paper looks back over 17 years of microgravity research in parabolic flights with the A300 ZERO-G, and introduces the new A310 ZERO-G that will be used from 2015 onwards. © 2015 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pletser V.,European Space Agency | Rouquette S.,French National Center for Space Studies | Friedrich U.,German Aerospace Center | Clervoy J.-F.,Novespace | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2013

Aircraft parabolic flights provide repetitively short periods of reduced gravity and are used to conduct scientific and technology microgravity investigations, to test instrumentation prior to space flights and to train astronauts before a space mission. Since 1997, CNES, DLR and ESA use the Airbus A300 ZERO-G, currently the largest airplane in the world for this type of experimental research flight. This mean is managed by the French company Novespace. Since 2010, Novespace offers the possibility of flying reduced gravity levels equivalent to those on the Moon and Mars. To answer an increasing request of scientists to conduct experiments at intermediate levels of gravity (between 0 and 1 g) to better study the influence of gravity and to prepare for research and exploration during space flights and future planetary exploration missions, CNES, DLR and ESA organized two Joint European Partial-g Parabolic Flight campaigns in June 2011 and December 2012. During these two campaigns, parabolas were flown during three flights on each campaign providing micro-, Moon and Mars gravity levels with duration typically of 20s, 25s and 32s with a mixed complement of investigations in Physical and Life Sciences and in Technology. The paper will present the approach taken to organise these two campaigns and the sixteen experiments conducted in total, with some preliminary results to show the interest of this unique research tool for microgravity and partial gravity investigations.

Chavagnac C.,Astrium Space Transportation Business Unit | Gai F.,Novespace | Gharib T.,Novespace | Mora C.,Novespace
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2013

Since years Novespace and Astrium are discussing mutual interest in cooperating together when considering Novespace well established capabilities and the ongoing development of the Astrium Spaceplane and its unique features. Indeed both companies are proposing service for non-public missions which require microgravity environment especially. It relies on assets of both parties: Novespace in operating 0-G aircraft platforms for the sake of the European scientific community for decades; Astrium and its Spaceplane currently in pre-development phase. Novespace and its Airbus A300 Zero-G exhibit a unique know-how in Europe for operating scientific payload on aeronautic platform(s). Moreover Astrium is preparing the development of a safe and passenger friendly Spaceplane, taking off and landing from a standard airport runway powered by turbofans and using a rocket engine of proven design to reach 100 km altitude. The paper details the joint service offered and the added value of the partnership of Novespace and Astrium for various end-users. In addition longer duration of on-board microgravity periods and ultra high altitude features of the Astrium Spaceplane mission expand the scope of possible non-public applications which includes e.g.: Earth system science and probing of uncharted layers of Earth atmosphere on a regular basis and in various locations worldwide; Spaceflight crew training. © 2013 IAA. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Novespace | Date: 2014-10-10

Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water. Transport; travel arrangement. Education; training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; organization of competitions (education or entertainment).

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