Test of the Einstein’s equivalence principle

MAIUS-1 is a technology demonstration microgravity mission and part of the Quantus3 project. The test of the Einstein’s equivalence principle with degenerate quantum matter is one the strategies to explore the frontier between quantum mechanics and gravity. A precise test for this equivalence is the comparisons of the free fall of ultracold clouds of different atomic species and its readout using atom interferometry. In order to increase the precision of such an interferometer the space-time-area enclosed in it has to be increased. This can be achieved by performing the experiments in a microgravity environment that allows longer interrogation times.

General information:

Launch site Esrange Space Center
Launch date 2017-01-23 at 03:30 Local time
Customer DLR

Technical information:

Rocket type VSB-30, 2 stage solid propellant
Motor diameter 557 mm
Nominal Payload diameter 500 mm
Length 11.9 m
Burning time 1st stage (S31) 15 s
Burning time 2nd stage (S30) 29 s
Max acceleration (ascent phase) 10.8 g
Fin settings S31 (1st Stage) 18’
Fin settings S30 (2nd Stage) 24’
Predicted spin rate at burnout before Yo-Yo activation 2.7 Hz
Apogee  238 km
Flight time to apogee 250 sec
Operational temperature limits -10°C up to +30°C
Launch Window LT 24:00 to 14:00

 Experiment modules:

Module Experiment Team

MAIUS-A payload consists of five 500 mm modules. It contains a complete atom optical experiment

  • Ultra-High vacuum system, laser system, driver electronics
  • Length 2800 mm, Diameter 500 mm, Volumen 0.55 m³
  • Mass: 312 kg
  • Power Consumption 300 W
  • Module Names: Umbilical, Experiment 1, Experiment 2, Elektronik, Batterie
Dr. Ernst Rasel, Dr. Stephan Seidel,
Maike Lachmann, Dr. Thijs Wendrich, Holger Ahlers, Dennis Becker,
Jens Große, Hauke Mütinga,
Benjamin Weps, Dr. Aline Dinkelaker,
Vladimir Schkolnik, Dr. André  Wenzlawski, Dr. Ortwin Hellmig
IMU-unit The Micro- IMU experiment aims at enhancing the
robustness of GNSS receivers for sounding rockets and launch vehicles.
Markus Markgraf, Benjamin Braun 

Contact persons

Mr. Torbjörn Eld, SSC,
Mr. Andreas Stamminger, DLR Moraba.

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