Focus on cosmic radiation research: Joint ESA-FAIR Summer School back in presence


It is a high-quality training offer for young international scientists and has already attracted large attention from the international community: Currently 19 young researchers from ten countries come together during the “ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School 2022” to work intensively on the topic of cosmic radiation. After two years of video school, the event is back in presence in Darmstadt. The Summer School for radiation research was jointly established by the European Space Agency ESA and the international accelerator center FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research GmbH), currently being built at GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung.

Researching cosmic radiation and their effects on humans, electronics and materials is a decisive contribution to the future of human spaceflight, so that astronauts and satellites in space are provided with the best protection during the exploration of our solar system. Furthermore, it also contributes to detailed knowledge about the risks of radiation exposure on Earth. The establishment of the Summer School is a direct result of the close cooperation between ESA and FAIR on cosmic radiation research: For many years, ESA has been implementing space radiation research at the GSI particle accelerator in Darmstadt. The existing GSI accelerator facility already is the only one in Europe that can generate all of the ion beams that occur in our solar system, which range from the lightest one, hydrogen, to the heaviest, uranium. At the future FAIR accelerator center, even higher energy will be available for cosmic ray simulation, enabling groundbreaking new insights.

With these forward-looking research opportunities as a framework, the participants of the Summer School will be able to enhance their knowledge of radiation research in a unique combination of lectures and practical workshops. The Summer School will be held at ESA´s European Space Operations Center ESOC as well as at the GSI/FAIR campus in order to train students in basic heavy ion biophysics for both terrestrial and space applications. The ESA -FAIR Radiation Summer School thus contributes significantly to research and development in the field of biomedical and biophysical applications of heavy ions in Europe. Main topics of the two-week event are space research activities at ESA, space radiation physics, space radiation biology, applied physics at GSI/FAIR, particle accelerators and particle therapy.

The Summer School’s top-class scientific program, opened by Dr. Dr. Jennifer Ngo-Anh, ESA Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration programs, and Professor Marco Durante, Head of the GSI Department of Biophysics, includes lectures from experts such as former astronaut Thomas Reiter and former ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Wörner, site visits to facilities in Darmstadt and practical training and research opportunities at GSI/FAIR. At the ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School, participants will also take written exams and carry out teamwork, which will be evaluated and rated by the faculty. (BP)

Further information

ESA-FAIR Radiation Summer School