Alpha Space Launches its First MISSE Resupply Mission
Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance, LLC (Alpha Space) launched its latest set of MISSE carriers to the International Space Station on Nov. 17, 2018 aboard the Northrop Grumman NG-10 resupply mission. Alpha Space owns and operates the MISSE, an orbiting commercial science and testing facility that is permanently installed on the exterior of the ISS and serves the space research, testing, and materials science communities.
“This latest launch of carriers marks the company’s first MISSE resupply mission,” stated Mark Gittleman, Alpha Space president and CEO. “Our team integrated and delivered seven MISSE carriers with over 400 unique science and engineering experiments and tests for our customers, which include commercial enterprises, NASA, other government agencies, and educational programs. This launch shows that we are successfully opening space research and testing to an ever growing community.”
Alpha Space will continue to launch and return carriers approximately every six months for the rest of ISS’ planned life, working through a cooperative agreement with NASA and a user agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, or CASIS. By making the facility permanent, Alpha Space and NASA have dramatically reduced the cost and logistical difficulties of testing in space. They have also created the ability to provide extended exposure to the space environment, for years at a time if required. Alpha Space expects its first returned carrier to arrive in Feb. of 2019.
“Customer feedback has been fantastic,” stated Gittleman. “Our customers appreciate how easy we make it for them to get their experiments to space and are excited to acquire the information from both their in-space testing and their post-flight examinations.”
“Our next two launches are scheduled for May and November 2019”, shared Gittleman. “If you’re reading this and interested in testing in space then give us a call, we still have room!”