Around six minutes of microgravity

The TEXUS programme started in 1977 and is carried out at Esrange Space Center jointly by DLR, Airbus Defence&Space, OBH-System (former EADS Astrium and 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, Airbus Defence&Space, OBH-System (former EADS Astrium and 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 51/52

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.

The TEXUS 51 payload was scheduled to be launched from Esrange during the period April 2 – 25, 2013 in a double campaign with TEXUS 50. Due to technical problems the TEXUS 51 campaign was cancelled. TEXUS 51 will be launched in a double campaign with TEXUS 52 in April 2015.

General information

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date TX51 launched on April 23, 2015
TX52 launched on April 27, 2015

Technical information

Rocket type VSB 30 rocket
Nominal diameter 557 mm
 Total weight TEXUS 51 2654,4 kg
 Total weight TEXUS 52 2644,6 kg
Apogee ~261 km








Experiment modules
TEXUS 51 Payload

Experiment  Module

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

 TEXUS 52 Payload

Experiment  Module

Experiment title



TEM 06-38


Live-Cell-Imaging by fluorescent microscopy of cytoscoptical transformation under changing zero gravity.


Dr. F. Kohn,
Universität Hohenheim;

Prof. Dr. D. Grimm,
Universität Magdeburg;

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

New development

TEM 06-39

Capillary instabilities in liquid films and

Prof. Dr. Stannarius,
Universität Magdeburg;

Prof. N. Clark,
Prof. J. Maclennan,
Prof. M.Glaser,
Dr. C. Park,
University of Boulder

New development

TEM 06-31

Adaptability of the swimming behaviour of Daphnia and predator- prey relationship

Prof. Dr. C. Laforsch
Universität Bayreuth

Partial re-flight of TEXUS 48. New tanks, new observation and illumination concept

Contact persons

Mr. Mikael Töyrä, Project manager, SSC
Mr. Andreas Schütte, Project manager, Airbus DS
Dr. Otfried Joop, Project Manager, DLR
Mr. Peter Turner, Campaign manager, DLR
Mr. Horst Pfeuffer; KT payload integration manager, OHB System

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