Students from European universities including Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, Budapest University of Technology and Economics in Hungary, University of Warwick in the UK, and University of Pisa in Italy watched the science experiments they designed launched into space from the Esrange Space Center in Kiruna, Sweden on Tuesday, March 17 and Thursday, March 19.
REXUS 17, launched on the 17th and REXUS 18, launched on the 19th, carried a total of seven experiments designed and built by students from across Europe.
All experiments underwent bench tests and flight simulations before launch to show that they could receive and transmit signals that were needed during the flight.
After the tests the experiments were put into a payload, the payload was mated to the motor, and the students ran flight readiness reviews to confirm that their experiments were ready for launch.
Each of the student teams worked on their experiments for more than one year. All team members were selected by the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB) and the European Space Agency (ESA) in December 2013 to be a part of the program.
The experiments included in the payloads were:
• The test of theories concerning electron density fluctuation in dusty plasmas. A team of students from the Royal Institute of Technology designed and constructed this study. The experiment ejected a cloud of copper particles that were monitored by scatter radar.
• A device to measure the influx of cosmic radiation. A team of students from Budapest University of Technology and Economics created this experiment.
• A test to determine the composition of our atmosphere. Students from the University of Warwick were involved in this examination.
• A test to determine whether large diameter pulsating heating pipes could be used to control the temperature of future spacecraft. Students from the University of Pisa designed and constructed this experiment.
A call for proposals for the next series of experiments in the REXUS program will be issued in June. Deadline for submission is mid-October.
To find out more about the REXUS program click here.