Tests in Orbit - The ISS Student Experiment Competition


The UAE Space Agency and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) are hosting an International Space Station student experiment competition, known as "Tests in Orbit". This competition invites university and college students in the UAE, working in teams, to develop, design and conduct a “nano-experiment”.

The winning experiments, may eventually be launched to the International Space Station (ISS), as part of the UAE Astronaut Program.


The competition aims to aid research in the effects of microgravity on: 

A.     Human Health: This will explore life in microgravity. Experiments can cover any of the following five suggested areas of research, in order to ensure the optimal health and safety of Astronauts during prolonged exposure to zero gravity environments:

1.     Bone Cells, Muscle Cells and Immune Responses

2.     Haemopoietic System

3.     Microbiome

4.      Stability and  Kinetic Behaviour of Medicines in Space

5.     Gene Expression

Click Human Health Experiment to find out more.

B.     Energy in Space: This calls on students to test new power sources that could work well in a microgravity environment. The subject of the experiment from the energy perspective can be a study in one of the following fields:

1.     Solar Power-Based Space Energy

2.     Solar Satellite

3.     Space-Based Smart Grids      

Click Energy in Space Experiment to find out more.



1.     Have a passion for the sciences, technology & innovation

2.     Find a topic, under either competition category, that excites you!

3.     Form a team of friends or classmates with the same ideas

4.     Register your team on this website by January 15, 2019. 

5.     Attend an informative introductory webinar about the competition

6.     Get busy and create a detailed submission (Call for Proposal)

7.     Submit your proposal in the website.



1.     Competition launch – November 15, 2018

2.     Webinar –  December 9, 2018

3.     Entries submitted – November 15, 2018- January 15, 2019

4.     Entries close - January 15, 2019

5.     Top 5 entries from both competition categories selected – January 27, 2019

6.     Workshop for top 10 entries – TBC (January/February 2019)



In addition to launching your experiments to the ISS, Tests in Orbit will provide you with:  

1.     Technical and engineering support, by NanoRacks engineers and subject matter experts throughout the competition. 

2.     Technical support with the development of the winning payloads that will be integrated into two NanoLabs enclosures, and sent to the ISS.

3.     Participation in a myLaunch experience, with reasonable travel and logistics costs for trip to launch site in the USA provided by the competition.  Please note, restrictions may apply based on government guidelines.



By registering for the competition all applicants agree to the following terms and conditions relating to Intellectual Property:

1.     For the purposes of this competition, the term Intellectual Property shall mean patented and unpatented inventions, designs, drawing, notes, written works, mask works, copyrighted works, trade secrets, know-how and Proprietary Information. 

2.     The UAE Space Agency and the winning parties shall jointly retain full ownership in all Intellectual Properties that are generated during, as part of, or produced or acquired by such party prior to or independently of, this competition.

3.     Should any Intellectual Property be generated by the winning team or teams in undertaking this competition, then the ownership, use, publication, production and exploitation of the Intellectual Property generated will owned by the winning team or teams and the UAE Space Agency.


Submission Attachment Templates

Template Name Description Download
Proposal for ''Human Health Experiment'' 1) Download the attached proposal. 2) Complete it by answering all the questions. 3) Re-upload and submit your proposal in the ''Submit ideas!'' section Health in Space.pdf
Proposal for ''Energy in Space Experiment'' 1) Download the attached proposal. 2) Complete it by answering all the questions. 3) Re-upload and submit your proposal in the ''Submit ideas!'' section Energy In Space.pdf


  • Science and Technology
Submit Ideas!
21 November 2018
20 January 2019