Stuttgart (dpa/lsw) – The next time a rocket is launched to the International Space Station ISS, students from Stuttgart will also be there, at least indirectly. Because the experiment of a group of young aerospace technicians from the University of Stuttgart will be on board the Falcon 9 launch vehicle on the night of March 15 and will be tested in space for four weeks, as the university and the student small satellite group (KSat) announced on announced Wednesday. The aim of the so-called ferrofluid experiment is to replace mechanical parts such as switches in space travel with less wear-prone and more reliable technologies. This could reduce the risk of failure.

The Stuttgart project FARGO (Ferrofluid Application Research Goes Orbital) won the High Flyer 2 competition of the German Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA). Three other teams from other universities were also selected.

Ferrofluids are liquids in which there are magnetic particles that react to external magnetic fields. “The research area of ​​ferrofluids in space is not yet widespread, so it’s up to us to get the whole thing moving,” said student Bahar Karahan. The advantage for space travel: According to the university’s Institute for Space Systems, astronauts spend up to two hours a day on maintenance work. “This is time-consuming and costly. In order to be able to carry out future missions to Mars, for example, spacecraft must function as maintenance-free as possible,” the university quoted project manager Manfred Ehrlichsmann from the Institute for Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart as saying.