Houston, the fuel is sloshing…

by Julius Bihler, translated by Niko Steiner

Figure 1: During a rocket launch, vibrations occur in the fuel tank that can even influence the flight path. © Pixabay

Space rockets are rigid giants that overcome the Earth’s gravity with unimaginable force and reach outer space. But are they really as rigid as they look from afar? You have probably never sat IN a rocket to be able to judge that from close up. This article takes you to the inside of a rocket and what goes on there.

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Computed Tomography 2.0: A Time Machine

by Pia Götz

In one of the last articles we introduced you to the principle of computer tomography. The MAPEX at the University of Bremen X-rays objects, analyses and evaluates the results to gain information about material properties. In this new article, we go on a journey through time. We uncover what was hidden in the past, draw conclusions from the present and evaluate the benefits for the future. The shard shows itself in a new digital guise, which, in addition to new possibilities, also harbours risks.

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Solving food challenges on Earth by using technologies for human space exploration

by Alwyn Saju

Figure 1: Patiently waiting for food aid in Bamako, Mali, photo: Derek Markwell/DFID.

Long wait for food, shortage of fresh food and water scarcity. These are some of the common problems faced by the displaced people living in refugee camps. Same is the case in relief camps set in places hit by natural calamities like flood, earthquake, drought etc. The previous article was about “Controlled Environment Agriculture”. In this article, you will read about an interesting project called “MEPA” which intends to solve food challenges on earth, especially in refugee camps using CEA technologies.

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Controlled Environment Agriculture – or how to do “farming” in space

by Alwyn Saju

Figure 1: Colonization of Mars, credit: D Mitriy (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons.

Figure 1: Colonization of Mars, credit: D Mitriy (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons.

A scenario shown in the above figure is too challenging to be realised. In future human space exploration missions, our astronauts will face many food challenges when visiting exotic places like the Moon and Mars. Luckily, space engineers and scientists are working on technologies to solve the challenge of growing fresh food in space. In this article you will read about such technologies and understand how farming in space will be really done.

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Melodious Sounds From a 3D Printer

by Inga Meyenborg, translated by Greta Sondej

Fig.: Copyright © ZMorph3D 2019 / Pixabay

Anyone can print out a photo of a whistle at home with a classic inkjet printer. But no sounds can be elicited from this image. That is left to one’s own imagination. To create a three-dimensional, functional product, a different printing process is needed. 

Even those who do not follow on engineering and manufacturing techniques have probably heard or read something about “3D printing”. But what exactly does “3D printing” mean?

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3, 2, 1, … Ready for Take-Off!

Launch Campaign in Esrange as the Highlight of the REXUS/BEXUS Programme

by Greta Sondej and Christoph Kulmann

Fig. 1: The REXUS 25 sounding rocket on its way to the stars. Copyright © FORAREX 2019

“There is no comfortable path that leads from the earth to the stars”, this was already known by the Roman philosopher and naturalist Lucius Annaeus Seneca (ca. 4 BC – 65 AD), also known as Seneca the Younger.

For our journey to the stars, we have been working towards this event for almost two years with our FORAREX project: The Launch Campaign at the European Space and Sounding Rocket Range (Esrange) at the civilian balloon and rocket launch site near Kiruna in northern Sweden. It is the highlight of the German-Swedish student programme REXUS/BEXUS, which we have already presented here on the Science Blog. 


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Kiruna – All Fired up for an Icy Adventure

by Christoph Kulmann and Greta Sondej

Fig. 1: With a bit of luck, you can see northern lights (Aurora borealis) in the night sky during the training week. Copyright © WikiImages 2012 / Pixabay

Long anticipated and eagerly awaited, our student training week starts in snowy Lapland near Sweden’s northernmost city: Kiruna (from the North Sami “giron”, meaning “snow grouse”).

Bremen Airport is already getting us in the mood for the weather that awaits us in Lapland… 

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REXUS/BEXUS – Experiments Soar Into Space!

An European Education Programme Empowers Students to Develop Their own Space Mission

by Greta Sondej and Christoph Kulmann

Fig. 1: Have you always wanted to send an experiment into space? In this case, the German-Swedish student programme REXUS/BEXUS is the right choice for you. Copyright © Arek Socha 2016 / Pixabay

In our last article, we told you about our FORAREX project, which we developed within the framework of the German-Swedish REXUS/BEXUS programme. 

But what exactly does this REXUS/BEXUS programme entail? And who can participate? 

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FORAREX – Astronaut in Miniature Form

How a Single-Celled Organism Finds its Way From the Sea Into Outer Space

by Team FORAREX

Fig. 1: Maximum relaxation – lounging on the seabed and swaying to the rhythm of the waves. Copyright © StockSnap 2017 / Pixabay

Imagine you are living under the sea. You see the suns rays shining through the water. There is sand beneath you. The water flows around you to the rhythm of the wave – and you sway with it (see Fig. 1). Everything feels very pleasant. You are thinking how wonderful your home is. The waves, the light – everything is perfect.

But suddenly a dark shadow looms over you – and this shadow takes you out of this paradise and catapults you into space! Isn’t that a disturbing and rather improbable idea?

But that is in fact my story. 

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