Officials at Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance, LLC (Alpha Space), an advanced technology company offering space environment exposure testing in space, are excited to announce its first hardware component, the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) Transfer Tray (MTT) – part of the MISSE cargo supply which will take MISSE Sample Carriers (MSCs) for materials science testing – has been secured to the International Space Station. The MTT, carried on Orbital ATK’s OA-8 Cygnus resupply mission, was designed, manufactured and integrated by Alpha Space to transfer experiments from inside the ISS to onto the Alpha Space-owned MISSE Flight Facility located in the ISS external environment by way of the Japanese Airlock.
“We designed the MISSE Transfer Tray to maximize the utility of each airlock cycle and put out an entire complement of experiments at once,” stated Alpha Space Principal Stephanie Murphy. “Our design reduces robotic crew time and the frequency of airlock cycles we would need to utilize. I am proud of the efficient design we have developed to advance materials science and component testing in space.”
The reusable MTT, part of Alpha Space’s modular system of services, enables movement of commercial experiments for a year and permits the return to earth for greater science return. The first complement of MSCs – which includes space suit material, polymers and composites for NASA, a sensor for the Air Force, and 3D printed samples from a girls’ STEM group – is slated to fly this March on the SpX-14 resupply mission.