Last year, the Airbus kiwi team announced a challenge for university teams to get the chance to conduct an experiment on the International Space Station (ISS). Researching technologies to precisely characterize the space radiation environment, Thomas and Martin had a few ideas up their sleeves. Through the support of former German astronaut Ulrich Walter, now professor at TUM, they submitted their plan to test a set of new radiation sensors aboard the station.
The team’s hope is to show that these sensors can help to further our understanding of the radiation environment and the effectiveness of the station’s shielding. This knowledge is crucial to the development of new spacecraft that will one day fly to the Moon or to Mars. And the experiment will be an important complement to the research that Martin and Thomas are conducting for their PhD theses.
kiwi had partnered with SpaceStarters, a platform for crowdfunding in the space sector, for selecting ideas that stood a chance of being financed through a crowdfunding campaign. After identifying the 3D-DOS experiment proposal as a suitable candidate, SpaceStarters, kiwi, and the 3D-DOS team started setting up a campaign. Administrative and legal challenges led to plenty of work that needed to be done and ultimately to the creation of the SpaceRad Laboratory—a private company that Thomas and Martin founded to allow them to run a crowdfunding campaign while being PhD students at TUM at the same time.
If the campaign is successful, the 3D-DOS and kiwi teams will work together to turn the experiment idea into a real experiment aboard the ISS. Your support can help us do it!
Picture credit: NASA