There are eight steps in the preparation, implementation and execution of a human spaceflight experiment: (1) writing a proposal, (2) being selected by a space agency, (3) finding funding, (4) flight feasibility assessment for flight, (5) implementation into a specific space platform (e.g. the Space Shuttle in the past and now the International Space Station), (6) experiment execution, (7) analysis of collected data and (8) publication. The unique features about spaceflight experiments are steps 4–6 because of the limitations of conducting experimental procedures in space. Furthermore, all of the associated equipment have to be developed and approved for spaceflight with all the safety aspects taken appropriately into consideration. In this chapter, two specific experiments from the Spacelab D2 mission in 1993 are used as illustration of these steps as well as describing the use of parabolic flights as a preparatory platform. It is important to have data collected of such a quality that they can be published in science journals with external peer review. It is also important that the data not only have operational spaceflight applications but also can advance knowledge for terrestrial science purposes.
Part of the book: Preparation of Space Experiments