The European Space Agency ESA maintains a modified Airbus that is able to create weightlessness (more exactly: micro gravity) within its cabin for about 25 seconds in piloting the plane along a parabolic flight-line. During that time you can accomplish various experiments needing weightlessness. That way is much cheaper than to tug them into a satellite or to perform them on the newly built ISS.

One of those so called Parabolic Flight Campaigns, takes place in summer and serves exclusively for students and their ideas for a micro gravity experiment. Enduring a many-levelled excluding procedure our experiment was chosen for the “4th Student Parabolic Flight Campaign” in the summer of 2001.

A short time before, Michael Rösch remembered a conversation he had with an astronaut some years ago about body hygiene in space among other things. This memory inspired in him a solution and an experiment, which has filled a whole team with enthusiasm in no time. To this day there is no satisfying method to solve the problems of body cleansing. Either the astronauts have to catch the weightless water drops, rub them on their skin and vacuum them in a complicated way, or they are dependent on using CleanexTM.

That is the reason why our chosen subject deals with the reaction of water drops in an electrostatic field under weightless conditions. The point is the development of a shower specially made for weightlessness, in which water drops fall from the top to the bottom, in spite of missing gravitation.


With our basic experiment we wanted to determine the strength of the electrostatic field which is needed to accelerate the water drops noticeably and to create a natural shower-effect. Only if the field-density does not treat human health, further studies on the subject of the realising a space shower based on this concept will pay.

By the already accomplished parabolic flights we were able to gain much data. And the still running evaluation has produced good results which attracted much attention in the public. So, not only well-known radio-stations have reported about our project, but also articles and reports have been published in magazines and newspapers (FAZ, Frankfurter Rundschau, FlugRevue), on the internet (spiegel-online, and in TV-shows (Quarks & Co, Hessenschau).

The ESA acknowledged our work in inviting us to the Professional Parabolic Flight Campaign in spring 2002, which is reserved only for research institutes. We were very glad for that one-off chance and thoroughly prepared our further research-activities. With an optimized experiment we were able to confirm our results gained the year before in a more detailed way.

Since 2003 our project has been finished, so we can now concentrate our resources to our studies again.