Glass fibre is an essential material used in construction. But why ship it to the moon when you can produce it there? As part og the REXUS/BEXUS programme, the REXUS30 experiment IMFEX (RX30 IMFEX) attempts to proof the feasibility of designing, building and operating a fibre spinning apparatus, therefore laying the foundation for further research in order to produce glass fibre where it's needed - on the moon's surface.
  • Robust - Every part can withstand the intense vibration of a rocket launch
  • Miniaturized - The complete machinery is reduced to less than 14kg and 0.02m³
  • Fully autonomous - The whole spinning process can run without human interaction


Experiment Details

Mission Objective

Prove the conceptual feasibility of designing and launching an experiment, capable of spinning glass fibre in zero-G environment, that survives rocket launch stresses and is small enough to be carried to the ISS.

Technical Information

REXUS module height220 mm
REXUS module diameter330 mm
Experiment volume~0.02 m³
Payload mass8.661 kg
Total mass incl. module13.361 kg
Lunar Habitat - Foster + Partners / ESALunar Habitat [Credit: Foster + Partners / ESA]


Experiment Applications

Glass fibre based materials can be used in a wide variety of ways to be used in habitat construction. Applications include:

Hydroponic Substrates
Fibre-based material in combination with fertilizer can form a fertile soil, needed in order to grow plants
Air/Water Filters
Glass fibre wool can be used to filter all sorts of debris in liquids and gases, making it safe for humans
Data Transmitters
Fibre optics are currently the most advanced option for transmitting data across facilities many kilometers apart.
Thermal Insulation
Glass fibre whool is one of the most commonly used thermal insulation materials in regular houses here on earth
Construction Material
Fibre-based construction materials are one of the strongest, yet flexible and leight-weight options when building habitats
Repair Material
Astronaut suits and other meshes wear-out over time. Producing repair materials right where they are needed is theirfore desirable


Mission Timeline

Selection Workshop
Experiment proposal as been accepted for the REXUS/BEXUS cycle 13 at the selection workshop at DLR Bonn.
November 2019
PDR (Preliminary Design Review)
A delegation was invited to ESRANGE Space Center, Kiruna and the preliminary design was reviewed by the agencies.
February 2020
CDR (Critical Design Review)
The design was frozen and approved for functionality and can be sent to manufacturing.
June 2020
EAR (Experiment Acceptance Review)
At this point, the decision is made, weather the experiment is allowed for the campaign.
November 2021
IPR (Integration Progress Review)
The agencies are formally updated about the current manufacturing status and integration progress.
December 2022
FFR (Flight Readiness Review)
The experiment undergoes final testing and is prepared for the launch.
February 2023
Launch Campaign
During a 12-day campaign, the experiment is integrated into the rocket and launched.
March 2023
Fibre Analysis
The spun fibres are analyzed and rated by the fibre lab in Aachen for their quality.
June 2023
Analysis Results
The gathered results are presented and published in a new paper.
September 2023

Scientific Papers

Papers presented at congresses

Sharing is caring. We have successfully submitted and published papers to several entities, including aerospace congresses and local journals.

71st International Astronautical Congress - The CyberSpace Edition
71st IAC - CyberSpace Edition 2020
71st International Astronautical Congress - The CyberSpace Edition
Document Details
18 authors
11 pages
1.19 MB
Aerospace Europe Conference 2020
Aerospace Europe Conference 2020
Aerospace Europe Conference 2020, Bordeaux, France
Document Details
24 authors
9 pages
556 KB

Our Mission Supporters

Agencies & Organizations

As part of the REXUS/BEXUS programme, we received a lot of support, to overcome the obsicales of conducting this experiment. Thanks to all the agencies and coordinating parties of the REXUS/BEXUS programme, for providing us with the expertise and opportunity, to conduct our experiment on their sounding rocket. Whithout them, it would not be possible to achieve all our mission goals in a single experiment.

Our Mission Supporters

Sponsors and Coorporations

Without our sponsors, we wouldn't have been able to conduct an experiment of this scale and complexity. Some parts are worth beyond 60.000€ each, others are extremely hard and time-consuming to manufacture. Thanks to all those who suported us with their expertise, connections, mashines and financial support.

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