Educational & Humanitarian projects on ISS Russian Segment

ESD Experiment

Experiment ESD forms part of the scientific research program performed by Italian Astronaut Roberto Vittori (ESA) on the ISS in the frame of ENEIDE ISM Project. The European Space Agency is a customer of the preparation and implementation of the research program.


Filming and demonstration of the Electrostatic Self-Assembly of two different types of macroscopic components or spheres in weightless conditions on board the ISS in order to produce a video film and familiarize students with the differences between the Earth and space environments.


Filming of demonstrations of interaction of various items (like- and unlike-charged particles) onboard the ISS RS.

Used Science Hardware:

  • Electrostatic Self-Assembly Demonstration pouch with cube containers (each containing a set of spheres made of different materials) and video tapes.

Electrostatic Self-Assembly Demonstration nomex pouch

Cube Container with spheres

Support Facilities:

  • Camcorder DSR PD-150P.

Experiment Results:

Video recording demonstrating a behavior of 500 spheres made of different materials (polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and located inside transparent polycarbonate cube containers. When agitated these spheres acquire electrical opposite charges, and their attractive interaction results in the self-assembly of these spheres into ordered 3D molecular structures in weightless conditions.

ISS Crew