Around six minutes of microgravity

The TEXUS programme started in 1977 and is carried out at Esrange Space Center jointly by DLR, EADS Astrium, Kayser Threde and SSC.

The project

The TEXUS project is a sounding rocket program with the primary aim to investigate the properties and behaviour of materials, chemicals and biological substances in a microgravity environment. The TEXUS program gives around six minutes of microgravity.
The TEXUS programme started in 1977 and is carried out at Esrange Space Center jointly by DLR, EADS Astrium, Kayser-Threde and SSC. SSC is responsible for the launch operations. The TEXUS campaigns are sometimes financed by ESA or jointly financed by DLR and ESA.

TEXUS 50/51

The rocket vehicle Skylark 7 was used very successfully for the first 25 years until the motor was no longer available. The Brazilian motor VSB-30 has been used for the TEXUS programme since 2005 and will be used to launch the TEXUS 50 and 51 payloads to around 270 km altitude.

General information

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date TEXUS 50, Launched on April 12, 2013

Technical information

Rocket type VSB 30 rocket
Nominal diameter 557 mm
Total weight TEXUS 50 2666 kg
 Total weight TEXUS 51 2654,4 kg
Apogee ~261 km

Experiment modules

TEXUS 50 payload





Experiment title




Viscosity measurements with levitated liquid metals (EML-5a)

Prof. Dr. A. Meyer,

DLR Köln

Re-flight from TEXUS 49


Measurement of the dendritic growth velocity as a function of undercooling on Al68.5Ni31.5 in reduced gravity (EML-5b)

Prof. Dr. D. Herlach,
DLR Köln

TEM 06-33

Investigation of fast gravitropic primary reactions of the fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus in micro- and hypergravity

Prof. Dr. P. Galland, Universität Marburg

Re-flight from TX 47 with additional  spectrometer

TEM 06-37

Isolation of mRNA from microgravity and ground control samples to identify gravity related gene expression

Prof. Dr. K. Palme,
Universität Freiburg

New development based on TEM BIO (TEXUS 44) with new sample containers and additional 1-g reference centrifuge


 TEXUS 51 Payload



Experiment title



TEM 02-3

Determination of the critical capture velocity of particles during directional solidification of solar  silicon in space (ParSiWal)

Dr. J. Friedrich,
Fraunhofer Institut Erlangen

Re-flight from TEXUS 47 with additional
functions: rotating sample and magnetic field

TEM 06-36

Fiberlaser-based optical frequency comb in zero gravity (FOKUS)

Dr. R. Holzwarth,
MPQ München

New development with accommodation of an experiment unit from MPQ

TEM 06-16

Signal transduction in cells of the immune system under microgravity conditions (SITI-2)

Prof. Dr. Dr. O. Ullrich,
Universität Magdeburg

Re-flight from TEXUS 49 with additional

TEM 06-23

The transition from columnar to equiaxed  solidification in a transparent model alloy (TRACE-3)

Dr. G. Zimmermann,

Re-flight from TEXUS 49 with modified  parameters

Contact persons

Mr. Mikael Töyrä, Project manager, SSC
Mr. Andreas Schütte, Project manager, EADS-Space Transportation
Dr. Otfried Joop, Project Manager, DLR
Mr. Peter Turner, Campaign manager, DLR
Mr. Horst Pfeuffer; KT payload integration manager, Kayser-Threde

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