TEXUS 50/51

November 19, 2012
TEXUS 50/51

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 Experimenter Remark
TEM EML-5 Viscosity measurements with levitated liquid metals (EML-5a) Prof. Dr. A. Meyer,

DLR Köln

Re-flight from TEXUS 49
TEM EML-5 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 Experimenter Remark
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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