Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-RGX)


Canada’s first microgravity research competition for students, in collaboration with the National Research Council and the Canadian Space Agency.

The Canadian Reduced Gravity Experiment Design Challenge (CAN-RGX) is a competition for Canadian post-secondary students to design and test a small scientific experiment on board the National Research Council (NRC) Falcon-20, which has been modified for reduced gravity flight in association with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA).

Any student team at a Canadian university or college can submit a proposal for their experiment, after which, 4 teams will be selected to fully design, build and fly their experiments. Two members of each team will fly their experiments on board the Falcon-20 which simulates microgravity conditions by flying in consecutive parabolas.

We seek to create tangible student-led impact in space exploration and development. This is a unique opportunity for students to develop skills in STEM, to fly on board a parabolic aircraft, and conduct research in an environment that is unparalleled here on Earth.

Screen Shot 2018-09-01 at 4.38.46 PM
Elisha Krauss (from Queens University) floats in microgravity on board the Falcon 20.

4 teams have just completed CAN-RGX 2018! Read the press release for more information.

The 2018-2019 handbook is now available! PDF | Word 

The proposal deadline has passed. The participating teams will be announced by Monday November 26th.

Faculty Endorsement Letter Template
Post-flight Report

Students must adhere to the following timeline and requirements to qualify for the selection process.
• Friday October 5th, 2018 11:59 PM (EST): Submit your Letter of Intent via the link above.
• Friday November 9th 2018, 11:59 PM (EST): Submit your Proposal to
• Monday November 26th 2018, 11:59 PM (EST): Teams will be notified of their selection and feedback will be provided by SMEs

Project Milestones
The following documents are required milestones for selected teams. These documents will be evaluated by SMEs throughout the experiment design phases. Specific instructions for submitting these documents can be found in their respective guideline sections of this handbook. All submissions should be made to
• January 4th 2019, 11:59 p.m. (EST): Submit a short Progress Report (PR1)
• January 11th 2019: Progress Meeting
• February 1st 2019: Preliminary Design Review (PDR) via teleconference (comments and feedback provided immediately)
• February 11th 2019, 11:59 PM (EST): Submit your PDR report
• March 1st 2019: Pelican cases delivered to teams
• April 1st 2019, 11:59 PM (EDT): Submit a short Progress Report (PR2)
• April 8th 2019: Progress Meeting
• May 1st 2019, 11:59 PM (EDT): Submit a short Progress Report (PR3)
• May 8th 2019: Progress Meeting
• May 24th 2019: Critical Design Review (CDR) via teleconference (comments and feedback provided immediately)
• June 3rd 2019, 11:59 PM (EDT): Submit your CDR report
• July 1st 2019, 11:59 PM (EDT): Submit your Test Equipment Data Package (TEDP)
• July 5th 2019: Deliver experiment hardware to the NRC
• July 22nd – 26th 2019: Flight Campaign period (tentative)
• August 15th 2019: Return Pelican case to the CSA
• August 30th, 11:59 PM (EDT): Submit your Post-flight report



Q: Who can I ask for help if I have a technical question related to my experiment design?
A: Selected teams will have access to a group of Subject Matter Experts (SME) who have extensive knowledge on parabolic flight science.These SMEs will be available to answer your technical questions during the competition. Send us your questions to the e-mail address above.

Q: Can my experiment involve flammable material if it is properly contained?
A: No. The ‘Experiment Constraints’ outlined in the Call for Proposals prohibits the use of high-pressure, toxic, corrosive, explosive and flammable materials, regardless of the level of containment.

Q: Can I alter my experiment idea after submitting my Letter of Intent?
A: Absolutely! You are welcome to tweak your experiment or completely change topic when writing your Proposal. The Proposal is the only document that will be evaluated for selection.

Q: Will lab space or equipment be provided to build our experiment?
A: No. Teams are responsible for securing access to proper facilities/equipment needed to design and build their experiment.

Q: Will we receive training before the parabolic flight?
A: Yes. Selected teams will undergo a pre-flight briefing where they will be coached by flight officers and guided through emergency procedures.

Q: Will we be allowed to bring our own tools on board the aircraft?
A: Yes, given that the tools are deemed safe for use in parabolic flight. Note that all tools will need to be contained or tethered during parabolas.

Q: Can we perform experiments on humans, animals or living cells?
A: No. These types of experiments will not be possible for this year’s competition.

Q: Can I apply if I am an international student?
A: Yes! Any student enrolled at a Canadian post-secondary institution can apply, regardless of residency status.

Q: Can I participate if I am enrolled part time?
A: Yes! As long as you can provide proof of enrolment at your academic institution, you can enter into the competition.

Q: Do you accept unofficial proof of enrolment?
A: Official proof of enrolment must be submitted with the team’s Proposal

Q: Is there a limit on how many members can be in my team?
A: No, however your team can only be associated with one ‘primary Canadian institution’. This means that any team members who are not enrolled at the primary Canadian institution will be listed as ‘collaborating institutions/members’.

Relevant Areas of Research

Any biological or physical process that depends on gravity on Earth can be studied in microgravity to observe changes. Students from a wide variety of backgrounds can perform experiments; these include, but are not limited to:

Material Sciences
Fluid, Heat and Mass Dynamics
Mechanics and Structures Sensors, Control Systems and Robotics
Geological Processes
Astroparticle and Radiation Sciences
Kinesiology, Biophysics and Biomechanical Engineering
Biology and Biochemistry
Plant, Animal and Human Physiology
Nutrition Sciences
Pharmacology and Medicine

For inspiration, here is a list of abstract titles from the 2014 NASA Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program, which cover several research topics:

Dust Coagulation in Microgravity
Electrodynamic Dust Mitigation for NEO Missions
Flow Boiling Bubble Detachment in Microgravity
Canfield Joint Attitude Control
Zero Gravity Mass Inventory Gauge System
Frontal Polymerization in Microgravity
Fiber Supported Droplet Combustion of Biofuels
Still Deployment Mechanism for Small Satellite Platforms
Moisture Transport Systems for Wearable Applications
Vectran Combustion in Microgravity
Low-Velocity Regolith Ejecta
Alteration of Actin’s Critical Concentration in Microgravity
Miniaturized cardiac monitoring systems in microgravity
Noninvasive Biosensing for Long Distance Space Flights
Peristaltic Flow in Zero Gravity
Automated Microgravity Fluids Testing for Advanced Plant Habitat
A reporter system to assess the effects of microgravity on UV-induced DNA damage
Measuring and Interpreting the Effects of Gravity on Human Biochemical Processes CPR in a microgravity environment
HTEE (Hemodynamic Transesophageal Echocardiography) Evaluation and Analysis Research Team (HEART)


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