For information only – not an official document

31 January 2024

Team from University of San Carlos and Holy Name University of the Philippines selected for HyperGES programme

VIENNA, 31 January (United Nations Information Service) — The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have selected a team from the Philippines formed from two academic institutes, the University of San Carlos and the Holy Name University for the third round of the Fellowship Programme on the Large Diameter Centrifuge Hypergravity Experiment Series ”HyperGES”.

The team will test the growth and response of bone cells on 3D-printed scaffolds using material extracted from red seaweeds in hypergravity. The outcomes of this experiment will provide significant insights for the potential use of seaweed as a material for bone tissue building.

Delivered under the Hypergravity/Microgravity Track of the Access to Space for All initiative, HyperGES allows selected teams to conduct hypergravity experiments at the Large Diameter Centrifuge (LDC) facility at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) of ESA. A broad gravity spectrum must be explored to understand the full impact of space activities on various systems. The LDC creates hypergravity by spinning gondolas, offering a variety of acceleration values to conduct numerous scientific and technological experiments. Past teams of the programme have conducted biological experiments, such as the effect of hypergravity on plants and smaller organisms and the impact of hypergravity on red blood cells, intended to support future space exploration missions and life here on Earth.

Director of UNOOSA Aarti Holla Maini said: "I am excited to select the joint team from the Philippines, which has a very interesting idea with a concrete link to improving bone implant technology and contributing to a better life here on Earth. This shows that modified gravity is an innovative platform to test new ideas. Through HyperGES, the selected team will not only get access to one of the most unique facilities in the world to conduct their experiment but also to an opportunity to deepen their scientific and technological knowledge and gain experience. I would like to thank the continuous cooperation of ESA for making this invaluable opportunity accessible to the world with us."

Head of ESA’s ESTEC establishment and Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality Dietmar Pilz said: “As ESA we are pleased that we can contribute to wider global education and space technology related developments through this UNOOSA-ESA HyperGES programme. The selected team will be supported during the preparations for this study, with our ESA gravity experts providing assistance during the remote and hand-on execution of the work.”

President of the University of San Carlos Francisco Antonio T. Estepa said: "We are delighted that UNOOSA and ESA are supporting our experiment HG-CELLS for testing the adaptation of bone cells to hypergravity, attached to 3D-printed scaffolds. This experiment will use locally produced biomaterials and will inspire future generations of young scientists in our community."

President of the Holy Name University Ruel F. Lero said: "Holy Name University is very grateful to UNOOSA and ESA for the opportunity to participate in performing a hypergravity experiment. The results will provide the impetus for our research on marine resources that impact our region, as well as for future research."

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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[at]

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