Nanolab Research Feature: Überflieger

“Überflieger” was organized by DLR Space Administration in coordination with DreamUp.

EXCISS (Experimental Chondrule Formation on the ISS): Students investigated the formation of chondrules, small lumps of mineral components that are the foundation of Chondrites, meteorites that stem from the very beginning of planet formation. The experiment calls for the observation of a cloud of sand dust, which will be exposed to repeated electrical discharges. The energy from these lightning collisions will create particles and should contribute to a better understanding of the planet formation process.

ARISE (Planet Formation Due to Charge Induced Clustering on ISS): Students from the University of Duisburg-Essen addressed the topic of planet formation, investigating the role particles’ electrical charges play during the birth of new celestial bodies. Current research indicates that particles up to a certain size stick to each other after collisions. A new theory predicts that bigger lumps are created by electrical interactions between particles. In order to prove this theory the students will observe the collisions of glass beads, which simulate cosmic particles, in microgravity.

“PAPELL” (Pump Application Using Pulsed Electromagnets for Liquid Relocation): Students from the University of Stuttgart studied new pump technology, which could be used in space propulsion systems. The pump moves a “ferrofluid”, a liquid that contains tiny magnetic particles, by means of electromagnets, which allows the pump to avoid using mechanical parts. Without such parts, propulsion systems might be able to minimize mechanical errors and noise creation, a huge benefit for astronauts inside a spacecraft. In two sub-experiments the team will also investigate the transport of the ferrofluid and small solid spheres.

Min Size10 x 10 x 10 cm (1U)
Max Size40 x 20 x 20 cm (4 x 2U)
PowerUSB 2.0, 5V (USB 3.0 available)
Payload ReturnAvailable
Data RetrievalManaged by Nanoracks Operations Team


The Nanolabs are at the core of our philosophy: low-cost, open sourced, standardized, miniaturized hardware that allows you, the customer, to focus more on the research rather than re-inventing the hardware ‘wheel” each time.

Nanolabs can be used for everything from building plant-growth chambers, studying DNA and radiation exposure, biology and biotechnology testing, materials and physical sciences, and more. 


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