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    UNIS/OS/556
    1 September 2021

    UNOOSA and ESA open opportunity to conduct hypergravity experiments

    Applications for the HyperGES programme are accepted from 1 September 2021

    VIENNA, 1 September (United Nations Information Service) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) are opening the 2nd round of applications for the hypergravity experiment programme HyperGES. The programme is a cooperation of UNOOSA and ESA under the Access to Space for All Initiative. It offers the opportunity to conduct hypergravity experiments at the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) facility at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijik, the Netherlands. Teams of students from all over the world – in particular from developing countries – supported by scientists and researchers are invited to submit their application by 28 February 2022.  

    The HyperGES programme contributes to capacity-building and the promotion of space education and research around the world. Developed by ESA, the Large Diameter Centrifuge allows experiments in gravity conditions that range from 1g to 20 g, where g is the gravitational acceleration at the surface of the Earth, and is flexible in terms of experiment scenarios, duration and possible equipment to use. Such experiments in hypergravity environments can be used to advance research in different scientific fields such as biology, medicine, material science and fluid dynamics and represent an achievable entry point to acquire new knowledge and technology.

    The 1st round of HyperGES was awarded to Mahidol University from Thailand. The team is currently developing their experiment to study the effect of hypergravity on watermeal, which may be a source of food and oxygen for future space exploration activities.

    In preparation for the applications, ESA has supported UNOOSA with a dedicated webinars series. The webinars provide an overview of the fundamentals, special characteristics, and advantages of the hypergravity/microgravity environment. They give insights into types of research, applications and how to develop experiments for hypergravity/microgravity. The material of the webinar series is available on the following website:

    https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/access2space4all/accspace4all_tips.html  

    UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: "Owing to the joint work of the Office and its partners, the Access to Space for All Initiative is playing a key role to bridge the space divide. By providing access to cutting edge facilities such as the Large Diameter Centrifuge to all Member States of the United Nations, ESA is reaffirming its commitment as one of the partners in the Access to Space for All Initiative. I am particularly keen and excited to see potential results and distinctive applications which can contribute to the achievements of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

    Franco Ongaro, ESA Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality and Head of ESA's European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) said: “We are proud to be part of the UNOOSA Access to Space for All Initiative. In ESTEC, we have about 35 research laboratories that allow industry and scientists to achieve their research goals. We thank UNOOSA for extending access to the centrifuge, operating as an important element of these laboratories, to the rest of the world as well. We look forward to the results of the HyperGES Announcement of Opportunity.”

    For more detailed information, please see: https://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/access2space4all/HyperGES/HyperGES_Rounds.html

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    For more information, please contact:

    Access to Space for All Initiative Team
    United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
    Email: unoosa-access-to-space@un.org