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Balloon Borne Student Experiments From Esrange Space Center

File photo of an ultra long duration balloon
by Staff Writers
Esrange, Sweden (SPX) May 25, 2006
BEXUS (Balloon EXperiment for University Students) is a yearly recurring experimental stratospheric balloon flight involving university students at Kiruna Space Campus and pupils from the Hjalmar Lundbom School and the Space High School in Kiruna.

The objective is to strengthen the co-operation between the different space educations in Kiruna and to give students inspiration and experience by participating in real space projects. The balloon campaign will be carried out under supervision of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC).

This BEXUS flight will also include two experiments from Sint Pieters College in Belgium and a flight qualification test of the latest version of SSC's E-Link system for communication between the balloon gondola and the ground station.

The campaign is carried out within ESA's Esrange/And�ya Special Project agreement (EASP). Sweden is the main user on this flight.

The balloon will ascend to a ceiling of 12 hPa (about 27 km). The ceiling will be maintained for as long as possible to achieve maximum range to test the performance of the E-link system. The cut down will be executed after clearance with the experimenters but is primarily based on safe landing calculations. Flight trajectory calculations before launch will indicate if the cut down will be done in Sweden or in Finland.

"To unite the different space educations in Kiruna with the activities carried out here at Esrange Space Center is very important to us" says Mr Ola Widell, project manager at SSC. "Several students do their master thesis at SSC and some of them come to work for us after they graduate", Mr Widell concludes.

"For us students, it is a great privilege to be given the opportunity to work in a real space project during our education" says Mikael Koivunen, student project manager, Department of Space Science. "To combine theoretical studies with hands-on activities gives us a good feeling of what we might expect in our future careers", Mr Koivunen adds.

Ten different experiments will be performed during the flight.

The experiments include eight Swedish experiments dealing with many different subject fields such as analyses of particles in the earth's atmosphere (for example the ozone layer) and techni�cal tests of various equipment. The Belgian experiments include one biological and one radiation physics experiment.

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Leicester SRC Collaborating With India On Astrosat
Leicester, England (SPX) May 23, 2006
England's University of Leicester Space Research Centre and ISRO are collaborating on an X-ray camera for Astrosat, India's first astronomy satellite. Technicians at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, have sent instrumentation to Leicester for integration into the camera.

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