Aegis Aerospace Inc. begins work on a lunar-surface test facility for government and commercial use
Aegis Aerospace Inc., formerly Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance, LLC (Alpha Space), announced today that the company has started a 43-month contract recently awarded under NASA’s Tipping Point solicitation to design, build, fly, and operate the first lunar Space Science Test and Evaluation Facility (SSTEF-1). Aegis Aerospace pioneered commercial Space Testing as a Service (STaaS) with its MISSE test facility on the International Space Station, which has been operational since 2018 and has hosted over 1000 experiments and material samples. SSTEF-1 is a commercial lunar testing facility that extends STaaS to the Moon by providing NASA, other federal agencies, academia, and commercial customers access to a turn-key solution for conducting basic science, technology development, and technology demonstrations on the lunar surface.
“Our Space Testing as a Service business model frees our customers to focus on their science and new technology development, while we focus on getting them to space and collecting the data they need from in-space testing,” stated Mark Gittleman, Aegis Aerospace president and CEO. “We appreciate the opportunity to continue our close collaboration and shared vision with NASA to provide the infrastructure that enables extending STaaS to the Moon.”
SSTEF-1 includes a preliminary manifest of seven experiments from commercial, industrial, and academic partners for its planned 2024 mission. Aegis Aerospace intends to purchase lunar delivery services from Intuitive Machines LLC of Houston. The facility will be mounted on an Intuitive Machines Nova-C lander in a location and orientation that gives the experiments direct access to the lunar environment. Aegis Aerospace’s services are turn-key, meaning that customers can focus on developing their technologies and Aegis Aerospace takes care of the rest, including integrating the experiments with SSTEF-1, securing all necessary certifications, delivery to the Moon, and lunar surface operations. The experiments’ purposes are to learn how technologies such as electronics, sensors, and materials fare and can be protected from, or protect against, conditions on the lunar surface including dust, radiation, and temperature extremes.
SSTEF-1 is Aegis Aerospace’s second lunar STaaS system. The first is the Regolith Adherence Characterization platform, or RAC, which is expected to launch to the lunar surface in 2023 to test the interactions between modern materials and lunar dust. Future RAC and SSTEF missions will enable government, commercial, and academic entities to contract directly with Aegis Aerospace to put their experiments on the lunar surface.
About Aegis Aerospace Inc.
Aegis Aerospace Inc. is a woman-owned space and technology company that provides turn-key solutions to government and commercial customers in the space and defense industries. Formed in 2021 through a merger between Alpha Space and MEI Technologies, Aegis Aerospace offers 30 years of success and innovation in the areas of technology and engineering services, commercial space services, and related space and defense products. For more information, visit www.aegisaero.com.