DIT engineering students to launch experiment into Space

DIT engineering students win European Space Agency's REXUS competition

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Thursday, 14 January 2010

A group of engineering students from the Dublin Institute of Technology have become the first ever Irish team to be selected to fly an experiment on a sub-orbital space flight by the European Space Agency. The team of five postgraduate engineers was selected after winning REXUS, the Europe-wide competition run by the European Space Agency.

The team consists of students: Mark Wylie, Paul Duffy, Dinesh Vather, Stephen Curran and Jack Keegan. A number of undergraduate engineering students from DIT are also participating in the experiment. The group itself is being advised by Dr Marek Rebow, Head of Engineering Research in DIT.

As winners of this prestigious competition, not only will the team be the first Irish team to be selected, but now, they will have the opportunity to fly their experiment on a sounding rocket from the Esrange Space Centre in Kiruna, Sweden, in March 2011. The launched experiment will examine the feasibility of a prototype telescopic boom. If the experiment is successful, the probe designed by the DIT team would significantly reduce the space required by current probe design, thereby increasing the number of probes that may be used on any one rocket.

The team's launch and experiment is being funded by the European Space Agency and DIT, while Enterprise Ireland and Irish aerospace companies are contributing to the project in the form of both help and equipment.

The team is due to travel to the Arctic Circle-based Esrange Space Centre next month for a training week and preliminary experiment design review. The team will also be undertaking an outreach programme. Through this programme they will be discussing the project with second and third-level students through a series of lectures and seminars.

You can follow the team?s progress over the coming months and find further information on the REXUX programme on

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Image of experiment mounted in rocket

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Labelled image experimental setup

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Image of experiment in extended mode

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