Space is harsh—it’s a place with continuous cycling of extreme high and low temperatures, ultrahigh vacuum, atomic oxygen (highly reactive single-oxygen atoms), unfiltered ultraviolet radiation, high-energy radiation, and impacts from meteoroids and orbiting man-made debris. This extreme environment—unlike any on Earth—is the ultimate test bed to examine the durability and performance of materials and components and is made accessible through the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.
The Materials International Space Station Experiments (MISSE) Flight Facility, developed and operated by Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance, is a platform for materials and component exposure testing on the ISS National Lab. The facility is mounted to the exterior of the ISS and houses payload carriers that can be robotically installed and retrieved using Canadarm2. The platform provides four sides of exposure and enables accelerated testing of a wide variety of samples—from polymers to sensors and other components, paints and coatings, fabrics, 3D-printed materials, and even biofilms.
The ISS National Lab recently announced a request for proposals to utilize the MISSE Flight Facility for materials science, device testing, or other research areas that require external space exposure. Proposed projects may involve active exposure (powered experiments in which samples are mounted, operations are performed, and in-orbit sensors collect data) or passive exposure (samples are mounted and left to be passively exposed to the space environment).
The deadline for receipt of complete proposals is May 22, 2020 at 5 p.m. EDT. For more information on the RFP and proposal submission guidelines, please visit the solicitation webpage.
What: Informational webinar hosted by the ISS National Lab and Alpha Space to discuss materials and technology exposure on the ISS. Representatives from both organizations will be available to answer questions in real time.
When: Friday, April 17, 2020 at 11 a.m. EDT
How: You must pre-register here to attend the webinar.
Learn more about the MISSE Flight Facility in the Upward feature “Tough Enough for Space: Accelerating Materials Testing With a New Permanent Platform.”