ESA's Education Office is again offering European students the flights of a lifetime with the third call for proposals for the 'Fly your Thesis!' programme. This exciting programme enables university students to fly their experiments in microgravity in a series of parabolic flights on the Airbus A300 Zero-G aircraft.
'Fly your Thesis!' requires each team of students to design a scientific or technology experiment to be performed in microgravity, as part of their master's or PhD thesis or research programme. Interested teams should register on ESA's Education Office's Projects Portal and upload their outline proposals using the letter of intent template, by 12 July 2010.
A letter of endorsement from a professor or academic supervisor is required. Proposals by teams from ESA's Cooperating States are also encouraged.
In a new move, medical research proposals will now be accepted under certain conditions.
A review board will select up to 20 teams who will be invited to elaborate on their scientific proposal, with the support of a scientific mentor. The teams will present their projects to a review board during a dedicated workshop at an ESA centre in February 2011.
After this initial workshop, up to four teams will be selected to develop and carry out their experiment at an ESA Microgravity Research Campaign that will take place in Bordeaux, France, during the spring of 2012. There, the student teams will work in close contact with renowned European scientists carrying out their own research. During the campaign, the students will accompany their experiments for three flights of 30 parabolas, experiencing about 20 seconds of microgravity during each parabola.
During the 'Fly your Thesis!' programme, the teams will be supported by ESA's Education Office, ESA microgravity experts and members of the European Low Gravity Research Association (ELGRA). ESA will offer financial support to cover part of the cost of the experiments, travel and accommodation.