Airbus Defence and Space chalked up yet another success this Monday with the launch of a further Texus sounding rocket mission. The 49th Texus mission lifted off without a hitch into a clear sunny sky over the launch site at the Esrange Space Centre near Kiruna in northern Sweden. Just a few hours later, scientists on the ground were able to start evaluating the experiments after the payload’s return from space.
The programme enables experiments to be performed in a microgravity environment. It has been running for over 30 years and has once more proved to be both effective and efficient.
Gravity is a vital force for all life on Earth. But investigative research to determine the extent of its effect on living organisms and the properties of materials can only be conducted in zero-gravity conditions. The Texus and Maxus sounding rocket programmes enable specialist researchers to do just that.
The Texus 49 mission carried four experiments on board, in the fields of materials research, solidification physics and human physiology. The German Aerospace Centre (DLR), the University of Magdeburg and Access Aachen are closely involved in the experiments.
After its brief foray into the weightlessness of space (experiments can be carried out for around 6 minutes) the payload housed in the tip of the rocket is recovered from the landing site and returned to Esrange by helicopter. There, the scientists can start evaluating their experiments straight away.
Airbus Defence and Space provides full-service solutions for scientific research. In its role as prime contractor for these ESA and DLR missions, the company delivers the custom-designed experiment modules complete with the necessary telemetry and remote control equipment.