Researchers and students in the Graphene Flagship are preparing for two exciting experiments in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) to test the viability of graphene for space applications. Both experiments will launch between 6-17 November 2017.

Computer generated image of a graphene array, a satellite and the earth in the space

Two teams will test graphene in zero-gravity conditions to determine its potential in space applications including light propulsion and thermal management. These ambitious space-related experiments are an excellent opportunity for Graphene Flagship students and researchers to gain new experiences in cutting-edge research.

Graphene Flagship graduate students at Delft Technical University (TU Delft), the Netherlands, are preparing to test graphene in space-like microgravity for potential future use as a light sail in space-craft propulsion. The team successfully submitted their experiment proposal to European Space Agency Education’s Drop Your Thesis! Programme in October 2016. They will travel to Bremen (Germany) between 6-17 November to perform their experiment at the 146 metre ZARM Drop Tower.

The researchers from Graphene Flagship partner institutes Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), University of Cambridge (UK), CNR Bologna (Italy), and Leonardo (Italy) are designing an experiment to test how graphene-based coatings can improve efficiency in loop heat pipes, which are used as cooling systems in satellites. They will travel to Bordeaux (France) between 6-17 November to do the experiment in a parabolic flight, operated by the European Space Agency and Novespace (France).

Graphene Flagship will follow the progress of the two teams, from the early stages in the laboratory to the moments of weightlessness.