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                                        Table of Contents
1   Introduction ...................................................................................................3
  1.1     Summary Table – Submission Details .........................................................4
2   ESA‟s Research Plan for Life and Physical Sciences..............................................6
  2.1     ESA's Research Plan Development Background ............................................6
  2.2     Updated Research Cornerstones for the Period 2005-2009 ............................6
3   Announcement Objectives ...............................................................................7
  3.1     Introduction ............................................................................................7
  3.2     Topical Teams .........................................................................................7
  3.3     Fundamental and Applied Research Programmes .........................................8
  3.4     Implementation of Projects ..................................................................... 10
  3.5     Important Proviso .................................................................................. 10
4   Funding of Projects ....................................................................................... 10
5   Continuously Open Research Opportunities ...................................................... 11
  5.1     Parabolic Flights..................................................................................... 11
  5.2     Ground Based Facilities Access (incl. Drop Towers) .................................... 11
6   Research Platforms ....................................................................................... 12
  6.1     Columbus and Destiny Modules ............................................................... 12
  6.2     European Missions to the International Space Station ................................. 12
  6.3     Foton/Bion Spacecraft ............................................................................ 12
  6.4     Sounding Rockets .................................................................................. 13
7   Facilities Available for Life Sciences on ISS ...................................................... 13
  7.1     Facilities for Biology ............................................................................... 13
  7.2     Facilities for Human Physiology ................................................................ 14
  7.3     Facilities for Animal Physiology ................................................................ 15
8   Facilities Available for Physical Sciences on ISS ................................................ 15
  8.1     Fundamental Physics .............................................................................. 15
  8.2     Fluid and Combustion Sciences ................................................................ 16
  8.3     Materials Sciences .................................................................................. 18
9   Facility Overview .......................................................................................... 19
10    Data Rights, Reporting and Publication......................................................... 21
  10.1 Data Rights ........................................................................................... 21
  10.2 Reporting and Publication ....................................................................... 21
  10.3 The Erasmus Experiment Archive (EEA) .................................................... 22
11    Submission Details and Addresses ............................................................... 23
  11.1 Notice of Interest ................................................................................... 23
  11.2 Proposal Workshop................................................................................. 23
  11.3 Proposal Submission .............................................................................. 24
  11.4 Institutional Review Board Approval ......................................................... 24
  11.5 Participating Member States .................................................................... 24
12    Proposal Evaluation and Project Implementation Process ................................ 25
  12.1 Peer Review and Technical Feasibility Assessment ...................................... 25
    12.1.1      Selection of Peers ............................................................................ 25
    12.1.2      Peer Board ..................................................................................... 25
    12.1.3      Selection Criteria and Scoring ........................................................... 26
    12.1.4      Technical Feasibility Assessment ....................................................... 27
    12.1.5      Endorsement of Review Results and Establishment of Research Pool ...... 27
  12.2 Project Implementation and Flight Selection .............................................. 28
  12.3 Reconfirmation and De-selection .............................................................. 29
    12.3.1      Background .................................................................................... 29
    12.3.2      Identification of Projects Requiring a New Review ................................ 29
    12.3.3      Review of the Reconfirmation and De-selection Procedure .................... 30
    12.3.4      Formal Decision Process ................................................................... 30
  12.4 Continuous Open AO for „Easy-Access‟ Facilities ......................................... 31
13    Points of Contact ....................................................................................... 32

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1    Introduction

The disciplines of Life and Physical sciences under space conditions have seen a
considerable growth during the past decade in terms of number of proposals received by
ESA, but even more so in terms of quality of the research being performed. Evidence of
this are among others the increasing number of scientific publications in high-ranking
journals, the growing interest in industry to participate in application-oriented research
projects and the positive comments by independent experts reviewing individual
proposals or ESA‟s ELIPS Programme as a whole. It is also noteworthy that recent
official publications issued by the European Commission underline the importance of Life
and Physical sciences in space.

The Life and Physical sciences constitute the main research disciplines being served by
the International Space Station ISS. Although due to the unfortunate accident with the
US Space Shuttle Columbia it is now clear that the construction phase of the ISS will
take longer than originally planned, still experiment opportunities exist today. In
addition, ESA is continuously offering a series of independent experiment opportunities,
like access to Ground-Based Facilities, Drop Tower experiments, Parabolic Flights,
Sounding Rockets and unmanned Russian Capsules.

In view of the difficulties mentioned above, there has been a considerable hiatus in the
issuing of new Announcements of Opportunity by ESA, in particular for certain domains
and experiment opportunities. However, today it can be seen that the majority of the
proposals that were selected through earlier AOs is by now entering the implementation

Therefore, ESA has decided that a new Announcement of Opportunity will be launched,
basically addressing all scientific disciplines and flight opportunities covered by the ELIPS
programme. Research topics being solicited can be both of a fundamental or applied
nature. However, please be aware that projects that were submitted in response to the
recent International Life Sciences Research Announcement 2004 should not be
resubmitted in response to this AO.

For all further details regarding main scientific disciplines, research opportunities and
facilities, applied research projects and the review procedures, please refer to the
detailed sections below.

Any activity under this AO is dependent on approval of the ELIPS-2 budget, which will
be decided at the ESA Ministerial Conference in 2005.

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1.1 Summary Table – Submission Details

   Notice of Interest due       31 August 2004
   Proposals             -      12 November 2004
   submission deadline
   Proposal     Workshop
   and        Networking        13 September 2004 @ ESTEC, Noordwijk
   How to Submit?                   Notices of Interest and Proposals must be submitted
                                    electronically, either in MS Word or in Acrobat PDF format, to:
                           . Please use the standard forms provided
                                    at and follow the
                                    instructions in this document.

                                    Proposals must be submitted as follows:
                                    To ESA (address indicated below):
                                    -     1 paper original
                                    -     1 electronic copy of the proposal to
                                    Important to note: Full proposals exceeding 5 MB size will
                                    not be processed

   Notice    of     Interest           Names, addresses, and telephone numbers of a single team
   Checklist                            coordinator and all team members
                                       A title descriptive of the proposed research a brief
                                        summary (10 lines maximum) describing the proposed
                                        research, indicating clearly the research areas defined in
                                        this Announcement that are most relevant to the proposal
                                       Indication of participating institutions.
                                 Up to 6 keywords that best describe the research area of the
                                 pending proposal
                                 Download NOI template here: (PDF) / (MS Word)
   Proposal        Contents      Your proposal must contain the following material in this
                                             1. Proposal Cover Page (PDF) / (MS Word)
                                             2. Proposal Abstract Form (PDF) / (MS Word)
                                             3. Work Package Break-Down and Financial Form (PDF) /
                                                 (MS Word)

                                             4. Biographical Sketches (PDF) / (MS Word)
                                             5. Facilities and Equipment description – scientist
                                             6. For experiments that use human subjects:
                                                Institutional Review Board approval, and for Animal
                                                Research, an appropriate Animals Research
                                                Committee Approval.
                                             7. Letters of Commitment from all Team Members
                                                (electronically scanned signatures accepted)
                                             8. The proposal's scientific and technical description:
                                                 maximum 15 pages, not including references.
   Eligibility                          In general, participants in the selected proposals will be

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                                    nationals of those countries that participate either in the
                                    ELIPS or the ISS Development Programme (A, B, CH, D, DK,
                                    E, F, I, IRL, N, NL, S).

                                   Nationals from other ESA member states may participate in
                                   proposals as ordinary team members. Such nationals should
                                   consult with their own national authorities regarding intentions
                                   to participate in future phases of ESA‟s utilisation programmes
                                   e.g. ELIPS-2. Nationals from other states, and in particular ISS
                                   partners (Canada, Japan, Russia, USA), should consult with their
                                   national space agency on its intention to support their
                                   participation in the project.

   Tentative     Evaluation             Scientific and Technical review until February 2005
   Schedule                             Formal endorsement and subsequent notification March

   Submission Address                   1 Original Proposal (Paper) + 1 Electronic file (max 5 MB)

                                     Mailing Address:
                                     European Space Agency
                                     Secretariat MSM-GA
                                     Announcement Identifier: ESA-AO-2004
                                     P.O. Box 299, NL-2200 AG Noordwijk, the Netherlands

                                      Courier Delivery Address:
                                      ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, NL-2201 AZ Noordwijk,
                                     The Netherlands
                                      Fax: +31 (71) 565 3661
                                      Tel: +31 71 565 35 17

                                      Electronic Delivery Address:

   Contact at ESA                  For any questions regarding this Announcement of Opportunity
                                   for Life and Physical Sciences, please contact

                                   Fax: +31 (71) 565 3661
                                   Tel: +31 71 565 35 17

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2    ESA’s Research Plan for Life and Physical Sciences

2.1 ESA's Research Plan Development Background

In 2000, ESA prepared a comprehensive Research Plan defining the scientific priorities in
the life and physical sciences for a 5-year period, with a horizon of 10 years. The
compilation of this Research Plan was initiated by a bottom-up analysis of all the
research proposals received at that time by ESA. As a next step, ESA asked the
European Science Foundation (ESF) to assess the research priorities in a dedicated user
consultation meeting, which took place in Bischenberg in November 2000. At this
meeting and in the subsequent ESF recommendations, the concept of Research
Cornerstones was defined. These Cornerstones, 14 in total, describe the particular areas
of research in Life and Physical sciences in Space where Europe is considered to be
particularly strong, or which show promises for major advances.
The Research Plan thus defined formed the scientific basis for the ELIPS programme
described above and approved at the ESA Ministerial Conference in Edinburgh, 2001.
The Research Plan is published in ESA SP-1270.

Already at Bischenberg it was identified that the Research Plan is by definition a living
document. Research priorities may shift, new promising research fields may emerge, or
new results should be taken into account. For that reason, it was envisaged that the
process of user consultation should be repeated at regular intervals.

Recently, therefore, a second user consultation on Life and Physical Sciences in Space
was organised again by ESF. This time, more scientists participated than in Bischenberg,
and also more time was available to discuss the individual disciplines during two
workshops, which were held in Obernai in May 2004. It is the intention that the results
of this consultation will be used by ESA to update the Research Plan before the end of
2004. This process will be initiated when the final report will be received from ESF.

However, as also strongly recommended during the workshops, the new ESA AO
should already be based on the updated Research Cornerstones defined in Obernai.
Therefore, with the support from ESF, the updated cornerstones will be presented in
the next section, it being understood that a formal endorsement by ESF is still

2.2 Updated Research Cornerstones for the Period 2005-2009

The concept of the Research Cornerstones in Life and Physical Sciences deserve
some further explanation. The Research Cornerstones describe areas of research
where concerted efforts at European scale have already produced, or are promising
to lead to, eminence if not a leading position at Global level. They provide therefore
an excellent basis for ensuring that new proposals will address issues that have been
recognised as constituting a particular strength in Europe.

A particular advantage of this will be that the research objectives of the ESA
programme will be better harmonised with those of other research funding agencies
or entities in Europe, leading to a more efficient and complete coverage of the
research efforts involved. It will also further promote the teaming of research groups
at European level, thus combining strengths and increasing European knowledge and
competitiveness. Finally, it will allow ESA to streamline and optimise the available
and future research infrastructure to sustain those objectives.

It should be stressed, however, that the Research Cornerstones will not be used as a
selection criterion in the evaluation of research proposals. In other words, the final
selection of projects will be based on scientific quality, regardless of the research

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topic addressed. This, in the view of ESA, is the only way to ensure that promising
new research will be identified and pursued.

Cornerstones as defined in the 2004 User Consultation

Fundamental Physics
    Physics of Plasmas and Solid or Liquid Particulates
    Cold Atom Clocks, Matter Waves and Bose-Einstein Condensates

Fluid, Interface and Combustion Physics
    Structure and Dynamics of Fluids, Multi-phase Systems, Interfaces
    Combustion

Material Sciences
   Thermophysical Properties of Fluids for Advanced Processes
   Materials Designed from Fluids

    Molecular and Cell Biology
    Plant Biology
    Developmental Biology

Human Physiology
   Integrative Gravitational Physiology
   Non-gravitational Physiology of Countermeasures

Planetary Exploration
    Origin, Evolution and Distribution of Life
    Preparation of Human Planetary Exploration

3    Announcement Objectives

Please note that projects that were already submitted to the recent International Life
Sciences Research Announcement 2004 should not be resubmitted in response to
this present Announcement.

3.1 Introduction

Successful and productive research in the space environment requires thorough
ground based preparation, series of space experiments on various carriers using
dedicated instrumentation enabling accurate control or monitoring of all relevant
parameters, and a mix of theoretical, experimental, instrumental, diagnostic,
numerical and managerial expertise. As a natural result of this fact, teams of
scientists with complementary knowledge and expertise are backing the vast
majority of the projects currently supported by ESA in the ELIPS programme.

Within the context of this AO, several categories of proposals can be submitted.

3.2 Topical Teams

In order to foster teaming up in anticipation of Announcements of Opportunity, ESA
is supporting networks of scientists called Topical Teams that have as objectives:

  To anticipate on the long term development of research in their topic;

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     To assess the relevance of the space environment as a tool for investigations and
      determine the specifications of the instruments required for such investigations;
     To identify industry who could benefit from the envisaged research and associate
      them to the definition of the objectives and the strategy of a space relevant
     To assess the relevance of the project to the Framework Programmes of the
      European Commission and ultimately,
     To submit research programme proposals in association with their industry
      partners to ESA in response to regular Announcements of Opportunity such as
      the present one and, in parallel, to the EC as appropriate.

Several Topical Teams are currently active in both Life and Physical Sciences and one
of the objectives of this Announcement is to enable them to formulate and submit
the research programme proposals that resulted from this incubation phase. It
should be noted that Topical Teams are open structures so that interested scientists
can contact their coordinators at any time and seek to join the any of the active

3.3 Fundamental and Applied Research Programmes

With this Announcement of Opportunity, ESA solicits Research programme proposals
encompassing a space experimentation element aiming at a critical advancement of
knowledge in various scientific disciplines. Projects are triggered by the fact that
space offers a unique environment to realise critical experiments that are very
difficult if not impossible to realise on the ground, or not at an adequate level of
accuracy. However, the scientific approach developed by the projects should be such
that no ambiguity remains as to which parameter has influenced the difference in
measurements. This calls for a detailed analysis of the environment that prevails in
space in comparison with the ground based environment, and its effect on the
process or phenomenon under investigation. The end results should enable scientists
to challenge, or validate current theories and stimulate further development towards
a better understanding of fundamental principles.

In 1996, ESA initiated a specific funding programme that provides financial incentives
to teams that propose applications-oriented research in space in partnership with
industry. The overall strategic objective of the Microgravity Applications Programme
(MAP) is to generate a European activity using the International Space Station as a
facility for applied research and eventually for industrial R&D. The objective is to
develop projects in order to e.g.:

     Optimise applied ground-based processes;
     Generate benchmark data and materials samples and physical processes relevant
      to industrial R&D;
     Investigate biological or physiological changes associated to long-duration
      spaceflight, which are of interest for clinical applications on Earth.

The development of MAP projects took into account the following elements deemed
to be key to success:

     Support to be provided during the full cycle of definition and development of
      dedicated flight experiment hardware, flight and operation, result analysis and
     The time leading up to the actual generation of relevant results on the ISS to be
      already productive and beneficial to industrial participants inasmuch as ground-

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    based research is supported and preparatory or precursor flight experiments are
    adequately planned;
   Full and fair Intellectual Property Rights protection to be assured for all partners,
    be they from academia or industry.

The MAP programme of ESA currently supports financially 32 projects in Physical
Sciences and Life Sciences beyond the nominal support with flight opportunities and
instrument development. These projects involved industry in the definition of their
objectives, in the majority of cases in the framework of Topical Teams. All running
projects have demonstrated to industry how ground-based research complemented
with well-focused space-borne experiments and measurements can generate unique
results of significant interest to their own R&D. Capitalising on this positive
experience, an Integrated Project proposal IMPRESS (Intermetallic Materials
Processing in Relation to Earth and Space Solidification) was submitted by ESA to
the European Commission in 2003 and selected. This success is a sure proof of the
adequacy of the approach fostered in the MAP programme. A number of features of
the running MAP projects are actually being extrapolated to fundamental research
projects in striving towards excellence in research in space.

All proposing teams shall identify the most effective way of achieving the goal of the
project; this encompasses a first phase during which the definition of the
experimental programme (including the detailed definition of the instrument and the
selection of the best suited carrier) is consolidated on the basis of extensive ground-
based testing and also modelling; an implementation phase during which the
instrument is developed by industry, launched and operated in space and an
exploitation phase for the complete analysis of all results and their synthesis. Each
member of a team is expected to define in detail his unique contribution to the
project, and at which stage during the project.

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3.4 Implementation of Projects

In terms of implementation, the information provided in this Announcement on
facilities that have been developed or are under development is meant to
demonstrate the breadth of research topics that can be addressed and the range of
experimentation that can be endeavoured using the different carriers and
instruments available to ESA. Proposing teams should therefore focus on defining
their own experiment requirements, at least in a preliminary fashion. ESA will assess
the most effective way of implementing the experiments called for by the projects
that will eventually be selected, either using one or more existing facilities or
equipment that can be adapted or letting new instrumentation be developed by
industry under ESA contract in order to fulfil specific sets of requirements.

ESA will also assess in coordination with the proposing teams, the scientific and
technical appropriateness or performing experiments on short-duration carriers
(drop-tower, parabolic flights or sounding rockets) to consolidate the experimental
concepts and test critical components and sub-systems. Such precursor experiments
may then become part of the development plan of the project.

As a result, the full cycle of projects can very well span from about 2 years for
projects that aim to use already existing equipment and repeat measurements on
different samples or subjects, to 6-7 years for projects that address new topics and
require new instrumentation and/or series of experiments on different platforms to
attain their full objectives.

Scientists who have no previous experience with the utilisation of the space
environment for research and development, and would like to explore new ideas or
concepts can propose at any time to set-up a new Topical Team to thoroughly assess
with other experts in their field the relevance and the potential of this new idea.
Ground based facilities can then be utilised to perform first tests and demonstrate
experiment concepts. The access to these facilities is subject of a continuously open
Announcement. This approach enables adequate maturation of projects and
collecting the data required for a full-fledged project proposal to be submitted in
response to the next Announcement of Opportunity.

3.5 Important Proviso

The definition of the contents of the ELIPS programme is essentially user driven, so
that the implementation of a number of the new projects will be subject of the ELIPS-
2 programme proposal for the period 2005-2009 that will be tabled at the ESA
Ministerial Council meeting mid-2005. Implementation of those projects will therefore
be subject to the approval and adequate funding of this ELIPS-2 programme.

4    Funding of Projects

In terms of funding, there are essentially two facets to all projects: the funding of the
team members and the funding of the instruments and flight opportunities.

ESA is responsible for procuring and managing flight opportunities and for organising the
funding of the development of instruments under contract with space industry.

Nevertheless, funding of the team members throughout the whole cycle of the project,
from the definition phase to the exploitation phase is of utmost importance.
Two schemes exist that depend on whether the project is application-oriented or not.

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For basic science projects that do not target applications and that are positively
evaluated for their sole scientific contents, all team members will have to secure their
funding from either national space authorities or other funding sources. Any significant
investment by ESA to serve the project will be conditional to the availability of the full
funding commitment for all team members.

The second scheme concerns projects that have an application-oriented component and
includes industry partners. Upon positive recommendation by the evaluation panel and
approval by the PB-HSR, such projects can be co-funded by ESA for a first period of
three years corresponding to a phase of project consolidation, performance of
demonstration tests and detailed definition of the experiment programme. The
maximum total funding per academic team member is then 225 k€ and the maximum
total funding per project is 900 k€. To be accurate, a team member is to be understood
as an academic laboratory or a small institute, not an individual scientist. The budget
allocated by ESA is meant to cover the cost of non-permanent staff (PhD students or
post-docs), some project running costs, travels, and can to a limited extent cover the
purchase of equipment. The co-funding by ESA is re-assessed at the end of the first 3-
year period as a function of the development of the application-oriented aspects of the
project. Non-academic team members are expected to find their motivation to
participate in the contents of the projects and the expertise represented in the team;
they are not funded by ESA.

The current standard MAP contract (PDF)/(MS Word) and related Partnership Agreement
(PDF)/(MS Word) are provided with this Announcement. These two documents will
undergo some updating within the coming months.

As a consequence, all proposals must include a detailed description of the work to be
performed by each individual team member for the first period of three years in the form
of work packages. The teams are invited to utilise the work package description and cost
form (PDF)/(MS Word) provided with this Announcement to present how they will
structure their work, organise the interfacing between the team members and to justify
their budget request.
Once the work breakdown structure is finalised and agreed between all members, the
corresponding financial information must be synthesised into these cost forms also
provided with this Announcement.

5    Continuously Open Research Opportunities

5.1 Parabolic Flights

Parabolic Flight campaigns offer series of repeated parabolas, each going a 1-g
situation though a 1.8 g pull-up into the 0-g phase, which has a duration of 15-20
seconds. Ordinary campaigns are flown 2-3 times per year with 20-40 parabolas on
each of the 2-4 campaign days. Further information can be accessed here. In
addition to the ordinary campaigns, campaigns are organised under a special
arrangement for students. Information on the latest campaign can be found here.

5.2 Ground Based Facilities Access (incl. Drop Towers)

Access to an array of European unique ground based facilities in ESA member
countries can be provided, including the Drop Tower in Bremen. Information on these
can be reached via this location, which will guide you to relevant specific sites. Under
this link information on how to utilise these as well as procedures for being
considered can be found.

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6    Research Platforms

6.1 Columbus and Destiny Modules

In terms of pressurised volume, the International Space Station presently includes two
modules provided by Russia and the Destiny module provided by NASA. The Microgravity
Science Glovebox (MSG) developed by ESA and delivered to NASA is hosted in Destiny
since 2002. These existing capabilities have already enabled ESA to carry out a
significant number of experiments, using self-standing instruments in either of the
modules or using the MSG and ESA is currently developing a number of instruments for
the MSG, all of which are presented in the following chapter on facilities. Further „early‟
(i.e. before Columbus is available) capabilities for research in Destiny will involve ESA‟s
European Modular Cultivation System, the Pulmonary Function System and the Materials
Sciences Laboratory.

Columbus will become fully available as of 2007 together with the ESA multi-user
facilities it will host. These are the European Physiology Modules (EPM), the Biolab, the
Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL) and the European Drawer Rack (EDR) that can
accommodate several sub-rack size instruments. Columbus also features external
platforms pointing from zenith to nadir that offer a unique environment and resources
for a broad range of research instruments.

A very brief description of these facilities and instruments, as well of those that are
currently in development for follow-on phases of the utilisation of the ISS together with
the Internet pages presenting the detailed features of these facilities are provided

6.2 European Missions to the International Space Station

In anticipation of the availability of the European Space Station module Columbus from
2007 and onwards, projects can presently make use of Soyuz Missions: These are
manned flights to the ISS, offering approximately 8 effective on-board-ISS experiment
days (total length of flights of a Soyuz turn-around mission of this kind is around 10
days). Limited and simple experimentation can be accommodated. Sample return
immediately after termination of the mission will be extremely limited and without
temperature control capability (room temperature) until resumption of US Shuttle flights
in 2005. These Soyuz flights will be best suited for monitoring human adaptation process
on orbit, or activation of (semi-) automatic experiments. Soyuz Missions would be well
suited for activities pre- and post flight relating to whichever discipline that can be
argued to be influenced by a 10-day space flight exposure. Crew time can also be used
to perform experiments using hardware already onboard the ISS or brought up by re-
supply carriers (“Progress” and ATV).

For an overview over the International Space Station for potential users, ESA‟s ISS
Users‟ Guide can be accessed here. In cases where the information in the Users‟ Guide
deviates from specific instructions and information in this AO, the text in the AO
supersedes the Users‟ Guide.

6.3 Foton/Bion Spacecraft
FOTON or BION spacecraft are unmanned capsules developed by Russia that are
nowadays launched from the spaceport of Baikonur (Kazakhstan) and recovered in the
Russian/Kazakh border zone. With their very compact design (using batteries, no solar
panels), their stabilised ballistic trajectory without attitude control system and their
flight duration (typically 13-18 days), these capsules offer the best possible medium-

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duration microgravity environment for experiments. Since 1987, ESA has already
participated in 10 FOTON or BION missions, initially organized by the Soviet Union and
since 1992 by Russia. The preparation for two more FOTON missions in 2005 and 2006,
with ESA taking a major stake in both missions, is already in full swing. Experiments in
many different disciplines will be performed. More detailed information on these
missions is available here.

At the above web location, ESA announces an opportunity to propose experiments in the
field of astrobiology for BIOPAN and STONE. Proposals in the fields of radiation biology /
radiation dosimetry (for BIOPAN) and meteoritics / geochemistry (for STONE) are also

6.4 Sounding Rockets

Sounding Rockets provide weightlessness to their payload with experiments during the
continuously powered u-g flight phase, the duration of which is determined by the
apogee reached by the rocket, providing excellent micro-g and full tele-commending
capabilities for the experiment payload. Since 1982 ESA's Microgravity Programmes
make use of Sounding Rockets as a carrier for microgravity research in the range from 3
to 13 minutes. All Sounding Rockets for microgravity research are launched from
Esrange in northern Sweden.

The detailed announcement for Sounding Rocket flights can be seen here.

7    Facilities Available for Life Sciences on ISS

ESA is contributing research equipment to the common pool of life sciences facilities on
ISS with a part of the equipment being offered via national contribution.

7.1 Facilities for Biology

BIOLAB in Columbus offers research into an array of biological sample species, in
addition to temperature controlled and g-regulated incubation schemes. BIOLAB has
highly automated sample handling mechanisms and offers a multitude of observation
and monitoring facilities.

 European Modular Cultivation System EMCS
The EMCS is an ESA gravitational biology payload to be operated during a two-year
period on board the US "Destiny" Laboratory. It is designed to fly and accommodated in
a NASA Express Rack. The EMCS accommodates 2 centrifuges, atmosphere control,
diagnostics, etc.

KUBIK is a transportable incubator designed in the frame of the ISS Soyuz missions for
Biology experiments processing. In the frame of the DELTA mission, two flight models
have been manufactured:

       KUBIK AMBER, with a Centrifuge Insert;
       KUBIK TOPAZ, with a Passive Insert.

Kubik Amber and Kubik Topaz will be used in the Russian Segment of the ISS (RS-ISS).

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7.2 Facilities for Human Physiology

   European Physiology Modules EPM
    A modular facility for Columbus outfitted with an array of state of the art modules /
    equipment for research into human physiology. Both rack-attached as well as
    detached and mobile monitoring is foreseen.

   Flywheel Resistance Exercise Device FLYWHEEL
    This facility offers opportunities for exercise protocols, mainly as a means of
    countermeasure but also allows combination with a multitude of monitoring devices,
    such as EMG, ECG, Force / Torque monitoring, etc.

   Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System MARES
    MARES is a sophisticated exerciser and monitoring device in Columbus. The device is
    programmable for setting of a large variety of movement and exercise profiles
    involving one lower or upper limb at a time. All interesting parameters in the area of
    muscle performance research can be measures and recorded. Active and passive

   Pulmonary Function System PFS
    The PFS represents 4th generation of ESAs gas analysers for monitoring of breathing
    gases, pressures, flows and other parameters central to breathing, lung gas
    exchange and measurements of cardiac output and related cardiac parameters.
    Initially PFS will form part of the HRF-2 rack in the Destiny module, and is foreseen
    later to move with these facilities into the Columbus module.

   Percutaneous Electrical Muscle Stimulator PEMS
    PEMS offers controlled electrical stimulation of a selected muscle as a part of muscle
    or tendon reflex or related experiments. The PEMS forms part of the Human
    Research Facility (HRF) in the Destiny module.

   Handgrip and Pinch Force Dynamometer HGD
    The Handgrip and Pinch Force Dynamometer is a stimulus device offering accurate
    feedback to the entire range of handgrip and pinch forces. The HGD forms part of the
    Human Research Facility (HRF) in the Destiny module.

   Lower Body Negative Pressure Device (DLR) LBNP

   Eye Tracking Device (DLR) ETD, further information

   Cardiolog and Neurolog

   Advanced Silicon Telescope Facility ALTEINO (Italian Space Agency)
    Is a particle telescope continuously operating, measuring the radiation environment
    of the International Space Station.

   ALTEA (Italian Space Agency)
    ALTEA is a programme aimed to study the interaction between particle passages in
    the brain and possible brain functional transient or long term anomalies, in particular
    related to the visual system.

   Hand Posture Analyser HPA (Italian Space Agency)

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    HPA is an instrument for hand posture analysis onboard the International Space
    Station. It consists of the „Posture Acquisition Glove‟ (PAG) and the „Wrist Electronics
    Box‟ (WEB).

7.3 Facilities for Animal Physiology

The Mice Drawer System (MDS) is a facility which supports scientific experiments on
board the International Space Station using mice as a model.

The Facility will support for the first flight research aimed at studying human bone
formation and specific measures to prevent osteoporosis, but is foreseen to support
different research disciplines according to need.

Mice for a total mass of 240 grams can be accommodated (example):
 6 mice of 40 grams each;
 8 mice of 30 grams each.
Mice can be accommodated either individually (maximum 6) or in groups.

Experiment duration: up to 100 days

8    Facilities Available for Physical Sciences on ISS

8.1 Fundamental Physics

   International Multi-User, Plasma, Atmospheric and Cosmic dust Twin-laboratory:
    IMPACT is multi-user rack-size facility for ISS that will enable to carry out
    experiments with complex plasmas, as well as with particles representative of
    atmospheric and cosmic dust particles. IMPACT will accommodate and provide
    common sub-systems to two sub-facilities, the International Microgravity Plasma
    Facility (IMPF) and the Interactions in Cosmic and Atmospheric Particle Systems
    (ICAPS) facility. Precursor instruments are under development to enable scientists to
    perform experiments before IMPACT becomes available.

   Plasma Kristall Experiment, the instruments PK-3+ and PK-4
    PK-3+ is an upgraded version of the PK3-Nefedov instrument that has been very
    successfully operated in the Russian segment of the ISS for several years. PK-3+ is
    developed and operated cooperatively between the Max Planck institute for
    Extraterrestrial physics (MPE) and the Institute for High Energy Densities of Moscow.
    Its utilisation is open to European scientists interested in complex plasma. PK-4
    differs from the PK-3 series insofar as it utilises DC-plasmas instead of AC-plasmas.
    Its development by jointly ESA and DLR is in discussion.

   ICAPS precursor
    This instrument to support studies on dust aggregation is under pre-development. It
    capitalises on the CODAG sounding rocket module that successfully flew in 1999 and
    developments made for parabolic flights and drop-tower Bremen instrumentation. It
    will be designed either as a self-standing instrument or for operation in the
    Microgravity Science Glovebox.

   Atomic Clock Ensemble in Space ACES
    ACES features a cold atom based clock – contributed by CNES – and a hydrogen
    MASER – contributed by Switzerland – and the subsystems contributed by ESA to
    operate both clocks, compare their frequency and communicate time information
    with the ground by way of a microwave link. ACES will enable testing the space

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    technology associated to the cold-atom clock, the performance of which is expected
    to benefit from the reduced gravity. It will also permit to test relativity principles and
    detect a drift of the fine structure constant. Interested scientists will be able to
    procure ground stations via the microwave link permitting to communicate with the
    clocks in orbit.
    The community of users of the ACES instrument is coordinated by Dr. Pierre
    Thomann of the Observatoire de Neuchâtel.

8.2 Fluid and Combustion Sciences

   Fluid Science Laboratory FSL
    The Fluid Science Laboratory in Columbus is a multi-user facility for conducting fluid
    physics research in microgravity conditions using highly sophisticated optical
    diagnostics. Several experiment containers (ECs) are already in development.

   FSL Experiment Container for investigations on emulsions (project FASES)
    This EC is designed to characterise droplet-size evolution, and droplet motion as well
    as their aggregation and coalescence in diluted, transparent emulsions amenable to
    optical diagnostics as well as in opaque emulsions that are then monitored by
    Differential Scanning Calorimetry.

   FSL Experiment Container for investigations on convection and interfacial mass
    exchange in FSL (project CIMEX)
    This project is subject of the development of two experiment containers. With the
    first EC (CIMEX-1), the goal is to quantify mass-transfer processes across interfaces,
    and their coupling with surface-tension-driven flows and instabilities and test
    numerical models with experiments. A tomography set-up is developed for 3-D
    reconstruction of the convection pattern in the liquid. The second experiment
    container (CIMEX-2), aims at quantifying the contribution of the micro-region at the
    vicinity of the triple junction of an evaporating layer to the mass exchange process
    and here again, test numerical models on the experimental results. The development
    of CIMEX 2 will be closely associated to the objectives of the Boiling EC described in
    the following.

   FSL Experiment Container for investigations on Boiling
    The performance specifications for this experiment container are in the process of
    being synthesised with the scientific team. The EC will enable the team to quantify
    boiling phenomena at different scales, with and without the effect of force fields such
    as gravity and/or an electric field. For further information contact, subject ‟Boiling‟.

   For investigations on fluid motions in spherical gaps on FSL (project GEOFLOW)
    This EC consists of a sphere that is surrounded by an outer spherical shell supporting
    a gap in between. A temperature difference and an electric field can be established
    between the inner sphere and the outer shell and both can also rotate with the
    same, or with different velocities. Various gap sizes will be offered as well as various
    rotation speeds.

   Facility for Adsorption and Surface Tension studies FASTER on ISS
    The objective of this facility that will be operated in the European Drawer Rack in
    Columbus is to establish a link between emulsion stability and the physico-chemical
    characteristics of droplet interfaces. It will employ the oscillating bubble or drop
    technique to measure adsorption and desorption kinetics of single or double
    interfaces (liquid membrane). It capitalises on the facility FAST that flew on Shuttle
    missions and yielded outstanding results.

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   For investigation on Aqueous foams:
    This facility, which is now designed for operating in the Microgravity Science
    Glovebox (MSG), will allow studies of foam rheology, foam stability and liquid
    drainage in foams at high liquid fractions that are highly unstable on the ground.

   Selectable Optical Diagnostics Instrument SODI (formerly DSC)
    The SODI facility for the MSG is a 2-wavelength Mach Zehnder Interferometer set-up
    and a thermal conditioner for liquid cells. It is designed to enable measurements
    diffusion coefficients in liquid mixtures, primarily crude oils. Thermodiffusion (Soret)
    coefficients will be measured by applying a thermal gradient to the cell; when
    relaxing the temperature gradient, one can then also measure isothermal diffusion.
    The set-up is designed to enable exchange of the cell in the conditioner and thereby,
    other experiments that can make use of the capabilities. The design will enable to
    mount the cell conditioner on a system generating low frequency vibrations so as to
    quantify their influence on the diffusion process (project IVIDIL: Influence of
    VIbration stimuli on DIffusion in Liquids).

   GRADFLEX for colloid science
    The GRADFLEX instrument is under development for flight on FOTON-M3 to measure
    fluctuations in liquids that develop perpendicular to a concentration or thermal
    gradient. It has been identified that the near-field scattering diagnostic of the
    instrument can very well serve the purpose of research on nucleation, crystallisation
    and aggregation in colloidal systems. ESA intends to study the adaptation of this
    instrument to the MSG environment. For further information contact, subject ‟GRADFLEX‟.

   Magnetic Fluids Experiment Unit
    This instrument now under development for operating in the MSG will support
    investigations in the combined effects of magnetic fields and temperature gradients
    on heat and mass transport phenomena in Ferro-fluids.

   Vibration Induced Phenomena in GRANular media: VIP-GRAN
    This set-up will enable scientists to observe the behaviour of a population of metallic
    spheres in a cell submitted to vibration over a broad frequency range. The aspect
    ratio of the cell, the level of filling of the cell, the size of the spheres (monodisperse
    or not), the frequency of the vibration are amongst the parameters to be varied.
    This development will benefit from lessons learnt from two sounding rocket
    experiments. For further information contact, subject ‟VIP-

   Vibration Induced Phenomena in critical fluids: VIP-CRIT
    Similar to VIP-GRAN here above, the set-up will enable investigations on the
    structuring of fluids near their critical point submitted to vibrational stimuli. For
    further information contact, subject ‟VIP-CRIT‟

   European High Pressure Combustion Insert: EHPI
    This insert aims at enabling droplet and droplet arrays evaporation and combustion
    experiments at high pressure and high temperature (transcritical to supercritical
    conditions). The phase A study of an insert to be operated in NASA‟s Combustion
    Integrated Rack in Destiny has been completed. The decision on the continuation of
    this development will depend on the consolidation of the team of users and their
    experimental programme with this facility, as well as on the availability along with
    the insert of appropriate diagnostics for concentration and temperature mapping.

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8.3 Materials Sciences

   Material Science Laboratory MSL
    The Material Science Laboratory in the Destiny module supports research in the
    areas of solidification physics, crystal growth and thermo-physical properties of
    materials. It provides all subsystems required to operate furnace inserts and
    stimulate and diagnose samples (rotating magnetic field, thermocouples, Seebeck
    and resistance measurements, ultrasound detection of the solid-liquid interface).
    Different furnace inserts are being developed in order to cover the range of thermal
    conditions required by scientists.

   Low Gradient Furnace MSL LGF
    MSL-LGF is developed to conduct experiments in the field of Bridgman crystal

   Solidification and Quenching Furnace MSL SQF
    MSL-SQF is primarily intended for metallurgical solidification research under steep
    temperature gradients, with the possibility of quenching the solidifying interface at
    the end of processing – by quickly displacing the cooling zone.

   Floating zone Furnace MSL FMF
    The Float Zone Furnace with Rotating Magnetic Field (FMF) studied by DLR is
    dedicated to crystal growth experiments. It can create a floating zone with controlled
    adjacent gradients.

   The High-Temperature Furnace MSL-HiTF
    A furnace insert capable of melting and processing samples of AlTi (>1800°C), and
    the related thermometry, cartridge and crucible technology will be developed by ESA
    for the purpose of the Integrated Project IMPRESS with the EC. The conceptual
    design study will be initiated in autumn 2004 and will seek to cover the range of
    requirements that will be identified in the projects submitted in response to this AO.

   The Electro-Magnetic Levitator MSL-EML is being jointly developed by ESA and DLR
    for the ISS.
    It is a multi-user rack-size facility that will enable containerless positioning and
    heating of conductive metal, alloy, or semiconductor melt samples, either in ultra-
    high vacuum, or in high-purity gaseous atmospheres. It is fitted with stimuli and
    diagnostics to support measurements of the thermophysical properties of the
    samples in the liquid state. It will also enable investigations on microstructures
    formation from undercooled melts. To prepare for the utilisation of MSL-EML, ESA
    and DLR co-sponsor the utilisation of the TEMPUS facility on parabolic flights.
    Precursor experiments using a sounding rocket version of the EML (up to 4‟ flights
    with two samples) will also be possible as of 2006.

   Dispositif pour l‟Etude de la Croissance et des Liquides Critiques DECLIC
    DECLIC is an apparatus developed by CNES for a NASA Express rack to support the
    study of material growth and liquids behaviour near their critical point. It provides all
    subsystems required to operated an experiment dedicated insert installed on an
    optical bench.

   CNES is running a study contracted by ESA of a European Directional Solidification
    Insert (EDSI) to support experiments on transparent model materials with melting
    points of up to about 250°C. The set-up studied encompasses an exchangeable
    cylindrical cartridge enabling both transverse and longitudinal optical diagnostics to
    be used. For further information contact , subject ‟EDSI‟.

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   Directional Solidification instrument for the MSG: DIRSOL
    This instrument aims to complement the capabilities that will provided by EDSI in
    DECLIC. It will also serve investigations on directional solidification using transparent
    materials, but in parallelepiped shaped cell that enable microscopic observation of
    microstructures at the solidifying front. The easy exchangeability of the sample cell
    is a major feature of the instrument.
    For further information contact, subject ‚DIRSOL‟.

   Solution Crystallisation Diagnostics Facility SCDF
    Having demonstrated the breadth of science it can cover, the PCDF (Protein
    Crystallisation Diagnostic Facility) is renamed SCDF. It focuses on understanding
    nucleation and crystallisation processes in solutions and the influence of gravity
    thereon. Beyond the original aim to investigate protein samples, a study has
    established the basis for experimenting with zeolite solutions. Crystal growth of
    inorganic compounds or colloidal systems could also benefit from the features of the

   Protein Microscope for International Space Station PROMISS
    The ProMISS instrument originally implements the counter-diffusion technique in 6
    individual cells mounted on a rotating disk so that each cell eventually comes in the
    field of view of a digital holography microscope. It was developed by Belgium for
    operation in the MSG. A team of European scientists has already successfully
    performed several campaigns of experiments. Some flexibility exists in the cell
    design that enables one to contemplate other types of experiments requiring
    For further information contact, subject 'ProMISS‟.

   X-ray facility for investigations in opaque systems
    The concept of a facility for the observation by X-ray transmission of foaming
    samples processed at high temperature has been studied. Beyond the original
    objective to diagnose the formation of metallic foams, a broader range of research in
    materials sciences was identified as potential user of the capabilities. A Topical Team
    is currently defining research programmes that will complement the science basis of
    the facility.

9    Facility Overview

     Facility Name
                                            Short     Web location


     BIOLAB                                BIOLAB     index1.html

     European     Modular   Cultivation
                                           EMCS       iss-dest-emcs

     KUBIK Amber
                                           KUBIK      =fac-iss-kubik
     KUBIK Topaz


     European Physiology Modules           EPM

     Flywheel Resistance Exerciser         FWED

     Muscle Atrophy    Research      and    
     Exercise System

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     Pulmonary Function System                  PFS          =fac-iss-othfac-pfs

     Percutaneous Electrical Stimulator         PEMS         =fac-iss-othfac-pems

     Handgrip  /         Pinch      Force
                                                HGD          =fac-iss-othfac-hg

     ALTEINO Advanced Selicon
                                                 ALTEINO     3071Narici.pdf
     Telescope (ASI)

     ALTEA Particle Passage and Brain
                                                 ALTEA       13/1033Narici.pdf
     Interaction (ASI)

     Hand Posture Analyser (ASI)                 HPA         (Have patience – this is a large .pdf file - loads slowly
                                                             – text comes after background has been built!!)

     Mice Drawer System (ASI)                    MDS         chedamds.pdf

     Fundamental Physics

     International Microgravity Plasma           IMPACT

                                                 PKE3+ &
     Plasma Kristall Experiment

     ICAPS Precursor                                         Contact

     Atomic Clock                                ACES

     Fluid and Combustion Physics

     Fluid Science Laboratory
                                                 FSL         ex1.html
     Overview of the FSL facility

     FSL Experiment Container                    FSL-EC
     Emulsions                                   FASES

     FSL Experiment Container                      
     Convection at interfaces with mass                      24.html

     FSL Experiment Container
                                                 BOILING     Contact

     FSL Experiment Container                    FSL-EC
     Fluid Motion in Spherical gaps              GEOFLOW

     Microgravity Science Glovebox
     instrument for                              FOAMS
     Aqueous foams

     EDR Facility for Adsorption and
     Surface Tension studies

     Microgravity Science Glovebox
     Adaptation of a near-field scattering
                                                 GRADFLEX    Contact
     instrument for colloid physics

     Microgravity Science Glovebox
     Selectable Optical Diagnostics              SODI

     Dispositif pour l‟Etude de la Croissance      
     et des Liquides Critiques

     Drawer Facility for investigation of        MFEU

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     magnetic Fluids                                        s/magnfluids.htm

     Vibrational Phenomena in Granular
                                                VIP-GRAN    Contact

     Vibrational Phenomena in Critical
                                                VIP-CRIT    Contact

     European High Pressure Combustion
                                                EHPI        Contact

     Materials Sciences

     Material Science Laboratory                MSL

     Material Science Laboratory Low
     Gradient Furnace

     Material Science Laboratory
     Solidification and Quenching Furnace

     Material Science Laboratory                  
     Floating zone Furnace                      FMF         g%20zone%20furnace%20with%20rotat

     Material Science Laboratory                  
     Electro-Magnetic Levitator

     Material Science Laboratory                            Contact
     High Temperature Furnace

     Material Science Laboratory

     Dispositif pour l‟Etude de la Croissance
     et des Liquides Critiques

     European Directional Solidification
                                                EDSI        Contact
     Insert for DECLIC

     Microgravity Science Glovebox
     Directional Solidification                 DIRSOL      Contact

          Solution Crystallisation
          Diagnostics Facility

          Protein Microscope for
          International Space Station

          X-ray Facility for                           
          investigation of opaque               X-MET            ms/
          systems                                                Topical Team

10 Data Rights, Reporting and Publication

10.1 Data Rights

As a general guideline, the Proposer and data owner will have 12 months proprietary
right to his/her data, after receiving a full data set as a result of the activity in question.
This period is foreseen for processing the data and for as a minimum a manuscript
submitted to the peer reviewed journal of preference.

After the period of 12 months with restricted data rights, the data will in principle
become open and official for use by ESA.

Further rules to this aspect will be provided at a later date.

10.2 Reporting and Publication

The Proposer or data owner will have the obligation to provide the following

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   a Final Report and/or submitted publication to a peer reviewed journal at 12 months
    after receiving the full data set.
   An abstract to the Erasmus Experiment Archive, described in the next section.

Failing these obligations will be taken into account when deciding on new experiment
opportunities/proposals from the responsible team in question.

Detailed conditions for this aspect will be provided at a later date.

10.3 The Erasmus Experiment Archive (EEA)

The EEA is an ESA service to the international scientific community. Abstracts, from all
European microgravity experiments performed to date are collected in this database. In
principle, the experimenters provide these abstracts themselves. Special emphasis is
placed on the completeness of the list of references of articles where the experiment
results can be found.

The database includes a full-text search capability to retrieve information on
experiments in a certain discipline, subject, mission, or by investigator name. The EEA
covers both physical and life sciences, and can be found at the following URL:

This database includes also a large number of pictures, as well as video sequences
documenting experiment abstracts.

The EEA home page points also to the Internationally Distributed Experiment Archive
(IDEA). This system allows searching for abstracts simultaneously in EEA and in the
corresponding databases of NASA and NASDA.

Scientists in Europe who have performed experiments, be it in orbiting or sub-orbiting
facilities (drop-tube, drop-tower, parabolic flights, sounding rockets, Foton capsules, the
Space Shuttle or the ISS), are urged to either provide an abstract on each of their
experiments, or to provide information enabling the updating of their existing abstracts,
in particular the list of articles published.

An abstract features the following contents:

    Mission Name and Date
    Team Members and Affiliations
    Processing facility
    Experiment Objectives
    Experiment Procedure and Results

Please e-mail your new abstracts (in attachment) or the updated information for already
existing abstracts to the EEA Curator.

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11 Submission Details and Addresses

11.1 Notice of Interest

To facilitate proposal processing, potential investigators are requested to confirm their
plans to submit a proposal in response to this Announcement. A Notice of Interest
(NOI), which is not binding, should be sent to ESA by:

                                            31 August 2004

Note that these Notices of Interest will form an essential part in the definition of the
future Research Plan and Programmes of the Agency, which will take place during this

This Notice of Interest should be no more than one page and should contain:

   the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the team coordinator and all team
   a title descriptive of the proposed research a brief summary (10 lines maximum)
    describing the proposed research, indicating clearly the research areas defined in this
    Announcement that are most relevant to the proposal
   the major participating institutions
   up to 6 keywords that best describe the research area of the pending proposal
   Indication of participation in Proposal Workshop

Download the template for the Notice of Interest (PDF) / (MS Word), and return the letter
either by mail, fax or e-mail to the address indicated in section 1.1
The information of your NOI will be regarded as open information that can be distributed
without restrictions, unless you specifically identify (part of) the proposal as being
confidential. For restricted use, please check box no. 4 on the NOI form

11.2 Proposal Workshop

As a means to guide proposers to submit a more complete and well written proposal, in
addition to improving the possibilities of scientific teaming and networking, a Proposal
Workshop will be arranged at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

The workshop will take place on

                                      13 September 2004

It is the intention that this workshop will allow for

-       Answering questions related to the AO and review process, and to the various
        elements that should be addressed in a proposal
-       Addressing technical issues related to the platforms or facilities offered
-       Clarifying scientific matters
-       Identifying potential partners working in the same domain with whom a joint
        proposal could be prepared.

In relation to the last point, ESA intents to distribute the information contained in the
Notices of Interest received (see paragraph 3.2 above) to the participants of the
workshop in order to identify possible team members.

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11.3 Proposal Submission

Proposals may not be only submitted electronically. A paper version of the proposals
should be sent by (courier-) mail in order to be accepted for review.

Notices of Intent and Proposals are to be received on the date at these addresses
(postal and electronic):

   By 31 August 2004: E-mail containing Notice of Interest to

   By 12 November 2004:

       1 Original Proposal (paper form) to:

        European Space Agency
        Secretariat MSM-GA
        Announcement Identifier: ESA-AO-2004
        P.O. Box 299, NL-2200 AG Noordwijk, the Netherlands

        Geographic address (e.g. for delivery by courier service):
        ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, NL-2201 AZ Noordwijk,
        The Netherlands
        Fax: +31 (71) 565 3661
        Tel: +31 71 565 35 17

       1 Original Proposal – electronic submission – to

Important notice: Proposals exceeding 5 MB size will not be processed.

11.4 Institutional Review Board Approval

This section only concerns research on human subjects, and research suggested on

A statement from the proposer's institution is required which states that the proposed
work will meet all local requirements concerning research on human / or animal
subjects. Safety assessments, including a description of possible hazardous situations for
the human test subjects and the foreseen countermeasures, must be provided.

In addition to this statement, a letter signed by the chairperson of the Institutional
Review Board / Ethics Committee (IRB) regarding approval of the experimental protocol
that include human subjects, should be included with each copy of the proposal. In case
this letter is not available at the time of the deadline, at least the proof of submission to
the IRB should be provided with the proposal.

For animal research similar, appropriate procedures must be followed and documented.

11.5 Participating Member States

In general, participants in the selected proposals will be nationals of those countries that
participate either in the ELIPS or the ISS Development Programme (A, B, CH, D, DK, E,
F, I, IRL, N, NL, S). ELIPS-2 participation may change this situation.

It is intended that this rule will be applied fairly rigorously regarding Team Coordinators
based on the countries participating in these programmes at the time of selection.

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Nationals from other ESA member states may participate in proposals as ordinary team
members. Such nationals should consult with their own national authorities regarding
intentions to participate in future phases of ESA‟s utilisation programmes e.g. ELIPS-2.
Nationals from other states, and in particular ISS partners (Canada, Japan, Russia,
USA), should consult with their national space agency on its intention to support their
participation in the project.

12 Proposal Evaluation and Project Implementation Process

12.1 Peer Review and Technical Feasibility Assessment

The Peer Review process has been given a new design that will allow a high degree of
standardisation of this and future AOs. The guidelines are described in the following and
should serve as information for both proposers as well as administrators.

12.1.1           Selection of Peers

In consultation with the Life Sciences Working Group (LSWG) and the Physical Sciences
Working Group (PSWG), and subject to endorsement by Life and Physical Sciences
Advisory Committee (LPSAC), ESA will establish a pool of independent Peers covering all
the 14 Research Cornerstones of the ESA Research Plan in Life and Physical Sciences. In
order to facilitate this process, ESA intends to make an annual call for Peer nominations
to European national space agencies, national research councils, the European Science
Foundation (ESF) and any other bodies it sees fit.
At least 10 Peers will be retained in the pool at any one time in each Research
Cornerstone, which facilitates continuity in the Peer Review process.
Regarding the policy on confidentiality, each individual Peer Review is confidential and
the composition of individual Peer Boards remains known only to ESA, the appropriate
Working Group and the LPSAC. However in order to provide a degree of transparency,
the full list of peers is published on an annual basis to LPSAC and European Utilisation
Board (EUB) for the International Space Station, as a working document.

12.1.2           Peer Board

The evaluation of submitted proposals is performed by Peer Boards. The list of Peers for
each Peer Board shall be drawn up from the Peer Pool by ESA in consultation with the
appropriate Working Group based on the sub-disciplines represented in the Letters of
Intent and the final proposals received and shall be approved by LPSAC. The number of
peers shall be determined such that each peer will have to review in detail a maximum
of 10 proposals, with a written report submitted before the Peer Board meeting.
Concerning optimum composition of the Peer Board and optimum competence of its
members the peers shall have good reputation in the mother discipline and no
involvement in on-going space projects related to the proposals under review.

ESA shall be responsible for the practicalities of organising Peer Board meetings and will
normally provide the ESA Secretary for the Boards. The practicalities shall include, e.g.,
locations and numbers of meetings per review, role of external support staff for
administrative assistance and role of teleconferencing/email.

The members of the Board itself shall elect a Chairman for each Peer Board.

Each reviewer shall read all Proposals. The Board shall nominate at least three Primary
Reviewers for each proposal, charged with providing a written assessment of that
proposal and with fully scoring the proposal (see below). During the final meeting of the

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Board other reviewers may provide comments especially in the case of proposals where
it has been difficult to find consensus among the Primary Reviewers. It is a requirement
for the Peer Board to reach consensus of opinion on all individual proposals, including a
final rating on all the applicable criteria.

As regards confidentiality of proposals the Peer reviewers shall:

•   sign a confidentiality agreement;
•   agree that certain parts of the proposal indicated by the Proposer can only be viewed
    and not copied;
•   recognise that certain parts of the proposal have a specific commercial interest
    which shall remain confidential (in particular in case of application-oriented
•   respect the intellectual property of the Proposer.

The Chairman of the Peer Board and the Executive Secretary shall ensure that a written
report is produced on the occasion of the final deliberations of the Peer Board, recording
the overall assessment of the Board regarding each proposal and the comments of each
Primary Reviewer regarding the proposals assigned to them. This written report shall be
held in a secure file by ESA.

12.1.3           Selection Criteria and Scoring

The Main Selection Criteria and the means to assess proposals against them are:

   For all Proposals:
    • Scientific Merit                 assessed by         Independent Peer Review;
    • Space Relevance                  assessed by         Independent Peer Review;
    • Technical Feasibility            assessed by         In-house Assessment (ESA)

   Additionally, for Application-Oriented Proposals:
    • Application Potential       assessed by     Independent Peer Review

In the Independent Peer Review, each proposal will receive for each of these Main
Selection Criteria a score between 0 and 100 points. As a result of the scoring the
proposals will receive, for each Main Selection Criterion, one of the following marks:
•    Outstanding         100 - 91 points
•    Excellent            90 - 81 points
•    Very Good            80 - 71 points
•    Fair to Good         70 - 46 points
•    Unacceptable         45 – 0 points

Proposals that score 70 points or lower on any of the Main Selection Criteria will not be
selected. For some of the above Main Selection Criteria the scoring will be weighted
according to sub-criteria:

For the Scientific Merit criterion there will be the following 5 sub-criteria with their
relative weights:

•     Significance              30%
•     Approach                  25%
•     Innovation                20%
•     Personnel                 15%
•     Environment               10%.

For the Space Relevance criterion there are no sub-criteria.

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For the additional Application Potential criterion for Application-oriented Research there
will be the following sub-criteria with their relative weights:

•      Clear, verifiable and realistic objectives                              15%
•      Level of industrial participation and involvement                       25%
•      Impact on the competitiveness of participating industry                 20%
•      Innovative character and potential progress beyond the state of the art 15%
•      Effectiveness of partnership                                            15%
•      European dimension and cohesiveness                                     10%

12.1.4           Technical Feasibility Assessment

All successful proposals in the Peer Review process are subjected to a Technical
Feasibility Assessment by the Agency, using its technical resources, which may be
complemented by outside industrial contractor resources. The purpose of the
assessment will be primarily to establish technical feasibility but also highlight areas of
technical incompleteness of the proposal or areas of technical risk.

The technical assessment can be crucial in determining how or even in some cases, if,
the proposed experimental programme can be carried out and therefore shall be
completed within one month of the Peer review. ESA is responsible for organising the
technical review. Proposers may be contacted by ESA technical staff for clarifications but
this shall not imply any intent on the part of ESA to fly any experiment or set of

The marking on technical feasibility shall cover the following sub-criteria:

•      Functional Requirements;
•      Space Platform Resource Requirements;
•      Safety;
•      Preparation for Flight Experiment;

with the following scoring scheme:

                    Can be             Feasible          Some        Major       Not
                 implemented          with minor       issues to   concerns    feasible
                  immediately         adaptations         be

    Score               A                   B                 C       D           E

Those proposals receiving one or more E‟s or three or more D‟s in any of the above sub-
criteria shall be deemed to be not feasible and are not selected.

In the case of successful proposals the proposers shall be informed as to the start of the
Definition Phase described below (Section 11.2).

12.1.5   Endorsement of Review Results and Establishment of
     Research Pool

After the full scientific, technical and application-oriented aspects have been reviewed
following the procedures as detailed in the LPSAC paper, all proposals that successfully
passed the criteria are submitted to LSWG or PSWG and to LPSAC for endorsement and
subsequently to LPSAC, EUB and PB-HSR and for discussion and approval. Proposals
thus approved enter the Pool of Research Projects (Research Pool) and will be

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incorporated into the ESA Research Pool Database that will be published on an annual
basis to LPSAC and EUB as a working document.
Proposers shall be informed immediately as to the outcome of the Review process by a
confidential letter from ESA, giving the consensus opinion, the overall marking and any
relevant comments of the Peer Board as well as the outcome of the Technical Feasibility
Assessment. The results of the Review are final and shall not be open to appeal.

Once a project is included in the Research Pool, ESA will initiate steps for the
implementation of that project (see section 11.2). As this inevitably involves
investments both financially as well as in terms of manpower, ESA will require
assurance that the project is well supported and financed. Therefore, within 3 months
after reception of the formal notification for approval by ESA, the coordinator of the
project is required to deliver to ESA:

   A Project Agreement and Acceptance Form covering third party funding

   A Partnership Agreement (PDF) / (MS Word), detailing the rights and duties of the
    project team and ESA (will be updated during coming months)

Without the timely submission of these documents, the proposal will be eliminated from
the Research Pool.

In this context it is however recognised by ESA that National review procedures may
preclude the provision for a full financial commitment for third part funding within 3
months. In such cases, ESA will accept a conditional commitment in the Project
Agreement and Acceptance form, if this is accompanied by a defined date when a full
commitment can be given. Based on such information, ESA will treat the proposal as
being part of the Research Pool. However, the initiation of definition-, phase A or
accommodation studies for the proposal, or other activities which will require more
significant investments, will be delayed until a full financial commitment is available.

12.2 Project Implementation and Flight Selection

After formal inclusion of a project in the Research Pool, the following steps will be
initiated by ESA. As soon as possible, and at the latest within 1 year, ESA will start a
Definition Phase study on selected experiment proposals in the Research Pool.

It shall:

•     identify possible existing facilities that can be used;
•     identify new technical requirements;
•     recommend options for accommodation;
•     estimate resource requirements and a flight readiness date.

The outcome of this Definition Phase will be the identification of one, or possibly a
number, of baseline facilities and flight opportunities for each proposal.

If required, Phase A/B studies shall be performed to define the necessary new hardware
developments. After Phase B a decision to develop hardware (Phase C/D) shall be taken
based on scientific merit and technical maturity. Any decision involving initiating such
hardware development will be subject to recommendation by LPSAC, discussion in EUB
and approval by PB-HSR.

Normally about two years before flight, a decision shall be taken to select the project for
a specific flight opportunity. At this stage, the project will be included, in the case of ISS
as flight opportunity, into the ESA Partner Utilisation Plan for further definition and

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allocation of the required resources for this project. This will also be the moment, if
appropriate, that User Support Centers (USOCs) will start their involvement with the
project concerning integration/operation. In case of non-ISS experiments, at this stage
also the procurement of the experiment opportunity (e.g. Foton, Sounding Rocket, Bed
Rest study) will need to be arranged. Again, the selection of any project for flight, as
well as the procurement of the experiment opportunity, are formal steps, which will
require recommendation by LPSAC, discussion with EUB and approval by Human
Spaceflight, Research and Applications Programme Board (PB-HSR).

The ESA database detailing the Research Pool will include all details on the status of the
project, including study stage, flight assignment and other relevant details. This
database will be distributed on a regular basis (in principle annually) to EUB for

Although it is highly likely that successful proposers will be in contact with ESA on a
regular basis as they prepare their experiments for flight, there might be occasions in
the case of flight delays where such contact is not so regular. ESA shall strive to inform
proposers at least on an annual basis of the status of realisation of the project.

12.3 Reconfirmation and De-selection

12.3.1           Background

Maintaining a proposal in the Research Pool implies an obligation on the side of ESA to
finally fly this experiment. Thus, without further action, it can happen that proposals
that have been submitted a long time ago and which have lost their scientific validity in
the meantime, still clog the waiting lists and, when flown, produce a negative image of
the scientific quality of research performed in space. For the same reasons, there is a
need to carefully examine the case for re-flying experiments after (partial) mission
failure, rather than making this an automatism.

12.3.2           Identification of Projects Requiring a New Review

In general, there will be two main sets of reasons for de-selecting projects, which have
entered the Research Pool as a result of successful Review and approval by PB-HSR:

(i)    Problems arising from, and bearing on, the basic feasibility and/or credibility of the
       project itself, such as:

        Insufficient reply to identified weaknesses in original proposal within three
        Negative outcome of Definition Phase or Phase A disproving basic hypotheses or

        Technical non-feasibility, risk problems, or significantly higher resource require-
         ments than originally anticipated;
        Any other reasons why the proposing team cannot continue.

       Projects in this category shall be identified by ESA and proposed directly for de-
       selection to the appropriate Working Group, either LSWG or PSWG.

(ii)   Problems associated with the passage of time or outside the control of the
       proposing team such as:

        More than 3 years have elapsed since acceptance in the Research Pool;
        “Force majeur” events such as mission cancellation or failure or partial or total

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        loss of science due to technical reasons.

      Projects in this category shall be identified by ESA and submitted to LSWG or
      PSWG for further evaluation.

It should be stressed that the fact of putting a proposal or experiment up for review,
does not in itself imply that something is wrong with the project in question. Rather it is
expected that in the majority of cases the outcome of the review is a reconfirmation of
the validity of the project, which is a positive result.

12.3.3    Review of the Reconfirmation and De-selection

The evaluation shall take place in a stepwise approach:

In a first step, ESA shall compile, on an annual basis, a list of those proposals falling
into this category. These would be:

• Projects with known problems;
• Proposals more than three years old, relative to acceptance for Research Pool
• Projects requesting re-flight.

At this stage, ESA shall inform the proposers that their proposal will be reviewed. They
will have the opportunity to provide ESA with additional information on the proposal that
would strengthen the case for its continuation.

In a second step, all proposals and the eventual additional information are submitted to
LSWG or PSWG, along with an assessment by the ESA Executive. At this stage
LSWG/PSWG can decide that a proposal is still valid or that a reflight is justified. Those
proposals which are thus given the go-ahead by the Working Group to continue or to be
re-flown, shall be submitted to the LPSAC for endorsement of the re-approval.

In a third step, those proposals which are not given the immediate go-ahead by the
Working Group, are submitted for full Peer Review according to the procedures outlined
in Section 12.1.

This would usually be in cases where:

• there is doubt on scientific validity;
• the additional information provided by the team is not convincing, or actually changing
  the scientific contents of the original proposal
• the results obtained during a partial mission failure seem to cover most of the
  scientific questions to be addressed, thus diminishing the need for a re-flight

This peer review will be carried out, whenever feasible, in the framework of a regular
review linked to a current AO.

12.3.4           Formal Decision Process

The lists of those proposals, which, as a result of this Peer Review, are rated to be still
scientifically valid are re-endorsed by the Working Group and LPSAC. The EUB and PB-
HSR will be informed of this reconfirmation.

Proposals, which are rated scientifically obsolete or not justified for re-flight are
considered to be de-selected after endorsement by the WG and by LPSAC and approval
by PB-HSR.

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In both cases, the proposer shall be informed in writing by ESA.

12.4 Continuous Open AO for ‘Easy-Access’ Facilities

The Continuously Open Opportunities is continuously advertised via this web location.

Apart from the opportunities for utilising Parabolic Flights and Drop Towers for
experimentation, which offer no funding of scientists, the maximum request to ESA for
utilisation of Ground Based Facilities will be set at € 150K.

For proposals requesting less than € 50K a fast-track evaluation shall be used as

•   The evaluation is carried out directly by LSWG or PSWG and endorsed by LPSAC;
•   A short in-house technical assessment is pursued;
•   The results are made available to Proposers within 2 to 3 months;
•   If within 6 weeks of ESA selection there is no Project Agreement and Acceptance Form
    received by ESA from Proposers then immediate de-selection occurs.

Proposals requesting support from ESA higher than € 50K will have to utilise the present
regular AO or wait for the next regular Announcement of Opportunity.

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13 Points of Contact

National Funding Authorities

AUSTRIA                                                  tel.: 43.1.403 81 77 20
Mr. Werner Balogh                                        fax: 43.1.405 82 28
Austrian Space Agency                          
Canovagasse 7
Postfach 53
A-1010 Vienna

BELGIUM                                                  tel. 32.2.238 35 86
Mr. Pierre Coquay                                        fax 32.2.230 59 12
Services Fédéraux des Affaires                 
Scientifiques, Ttechniques et Culturelles
8, rue de la Science
B-1000 Bruxelles

DENMARK                                                  tel.
Mr. Thomas Andersen                                      fax
DAMEC Research                                 
A/S Lindvedvej 75
DK-5260 Odense S

FRANCE                                                   tel.
M. Francois Spiero                                       fax
Centre National d‟Etudes Spatiales             
2, Place Maurice Quentin
F-75039 Paris Cedex 01

GERMANY                                                  tel. 49.228.447.214
Mr. Günter Ruyters                                       fax 49.228.447 735
Königswinterer Strasse 522-524
Postfach 30 03 64
D-53227 Bonn-Oberkassel

IRELAND                                                  tel.: 353 1 808 2753
Mr. Brian O‟Donnell                                      fax: 353 1 837 0178
International Programmes Division                        brian.odonnell@enterprise-
Enterprise Ireland                             
Dublin 9

ITALY                                                    tel. 39.06.8567 312
Mr. J. Sabbagh                                           fax 39.06.8543 871
Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI)                
Viale Liegi 26
I-00198 Rome

NETHERLANDS                                              tel.
Mr. Rolf P. de Groot                                     fax
Sorbonnelaan 2
NL-3584 CA Utrecht

NORWAY                                                   tel.

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Mr. Bo Andersen                                          fax
Norwegian Space Centre                         
Drammensveien 165
P.O. Box 113 Skoyen
N-0212 Oslo

SPAIN                                                    tel. 34.91.581.55.41
Mr Miguel Angel Pérez                                    fax 34.91.581.55.84
C/Cid, n° 4
E–20881 Madrid

SWEDEN                                                   tel. 46.8.627.64.80
Mr. Per Magnusson                                        fax 46.8.627.50 14
Swedish Board for Space Activities             
P.O. Box 4006
S–17104 Solna

SWITZERLAND                                              tel. 41.31.324.10.72
Mr Daniel Neuenschwander                                 fax 41.31.324.10.73
International Matters,                         
Manned Space & Microgravity
Swiss Space Office (SSO)
Hallwylstrasse 4
CH-3003 Bern

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