1. Form your University Student Team

Are you a student currently enrolled in a university from ESA Member States, Canada or Slovenia? Are you looking for a hands-on engineering experience? Are you curious about space? Then the REXUS/BEXUS Programme is perfect for you!

The REXUS/BEXUS programme allows students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rockets and balloons. You will be developing your own space experiment covering all stages from design, to manufacturing, integration, testing and launch, guided by experts from the European space industry and institution.

Therefore, in order to succeed, first you need to set up a team of fellow students from your university. It is recommended that students form teams of 4-8 people. You should try to include people from different disciplines and ensure that the team has a good range of skills addressing the many different tasks involved. For example:

  • A scientist to define the parameters of the experiment and interpret the measurements
  • A mechanical engineer to design and build the structure
  • An electronics engineer to design and manufacture the circuit boards
  • A software engineer to program the commands and data storage
  • Someone with good communication skills to develop and execute a successful outreach programme

If you would like to form a team but do not have all the necessary expertise, you can try recruiting additional team members from other universities using the REXUS/BEXUS Facebook Page.

Beam Team from University of Thesaloniki, Greece (BEXUS 29)

2. Think about an experiment proposal

The REXUS/BEXUS programme is targeted towards university students in the fields of natural sciences and engineering, who have a good idea for a rocket or balloon experiment.

Many experiments have been flown on sounding rockets and stratospheric balloons over the past 50 years. You should begin by researching what has already been done and try to think of an original idea or build on results which already exist.

Your experiment could be a scientific investigation, a technology demonstration or an environmental observation. Maybe you can link it to an existing research programme at your university.

Make sure that you have read the User Manuals of REXUS and BEXUS to understand what is possible within the constraints of the launch vehicle. Then, decide which vehicle suits your experiment best!

 REXUS

REXUS experiments are launched on an unguided, spin-stabilised rocket powered by an Improved Orion Motor with 290 kg of solid propellant. It is capable of taking 40 kg of student experiment modules to an altitude of approximately 90 km. The vehicle has a length of approx. 5.6 m and a body diameter of 35.6 cm.

BEXUS

BEXUS experiments are lifted by a balloon with a volume of 12 000 m³ to a maximum altitude of 30 km, depending on total experiment mass (40-100 kg). The flight duration is 2-5 hours.

Need inspiration? Check out the HADES Experiment (REXUS 27) for example, or any other REXUS experiment by clicking on them on the REXUS Campaign history page.

REXUS Campaign History

Need inspiration? Check out the IRISC Experiment (BEXUS 28) for example, or any other BEXUS experiment by clicking on them on the BEXUS Campaign history page.

BEXUS Campaign History

3. Send your application on time

The REXUS/BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Agency (SNSA). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Therefore, there are two different application procedures. One for students enrolled at German universities, managed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and one for students enrolled at universities from other ESA Member States, Canada or Slovenia.

Students enrolled at German Universities

Students Enrolled at Universities from other ESA Member States, Canada or Slovenia

For registration interested students should first submit a letter of intent to DLR before August 31st.

Then, the interested students should submit the DLR Experiment Proposal Form, before October 14th.

In case of questions or request on more information students should not hesitate to send an e-mail to the e-mail address stated in the DLR Letter of Intent.

Proposals will be assessed by a panel of experts and pre-selected experiments will be announced. Those teams will be invited to participate in selection workshops where a final selection will be made.

Interested students should register in the ESA Education Projects database (JoinSpace) where the application form can be downloaded in Word format and submitted.


Please read carefully the instructions for registering in JoinSpace

Registering in JoinSpace


Then, the interested students should submit the ESA/SNSA Experiment Proposal Form, before October 14th.

If you are unsure about who to prepare the experiment proposal form, you could get some idea from the experiment proposal forms shown below:

Please note the proposal examples given above may differ from the current proposal template.

In case of questions or request on more information students should not hesitate to send an e-mail to any of the following e-mail address.

Please take some time to check the ESA eligibility for participation and sponsorship criteria.

Please take note of the organisers’ data privacy policies when submitting personal information.

Proposals will be assessed by a panel of experts and pre-selected experiments will be announced. Those teams will be invited to participate in selection workshops where a final selection will be made.