Alpha Space Test & Research Alliance was named by the Houston Business Journal as one of the most innovative companies in Houston for its business model that includes the MISSE research and development facility on the International Space Station. MISSE is a commercial testing platform owned and operated by Alpha Space that enables companies and universities to rapidly prove that new technologies will perform as expected in space. Customers include companies producing satellites and satellite components, U.S. federal agencies including NASA, universities, small companies and even private individuals who want to fly personal items in space. “Spaceflight is harsh, and no one wants to fly a new technology for a critical satellite function if it has never experienced the orbital environment.” states Mark Gittleman, CEO. “MISSE enables our customers to reduce the risk of using new electronics, solar cells and new materials in their space systems.”
The company was founded by Stephanie Murphy, who is the board chairperson. “MISSE fills a unique need that is almost impossible to replicate on the ground. We saw and understood the commercial potential of MISSE during several smaller scale flights of a previous NASA system.” says Ms. Murphy. The MISSE R&D facility has been on orbit on the exterior of the ISS since 2018 and it will be available for the remaining life of the space station. Current customers include large aerospace companies, federal agencies including NASA, small businesses, and universities. Working with NASA and the ISS National Laboratory, Alpha Space has secured two launches and two return flights per year to carry customer technologies to MISSE for about six months of on orbit testing.
About Alpha Space Test & Research Alliance, LLC: Alpha Space is an ISS National Laboratory Implementation Partner and Commercialization Partner, working through a cooperative agreement with NASA and a user agreement with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory. Alpha Space owns the MISSE facility, which is permanently installed on the exterior of ISS and houses up to twelve experiment carriers for conducting orbital research and development on technologies directly exposed to the low Earth orbit environment.
About the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory: In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the ISS as the nation’s newest national laboratory to optimize its use for improving quality of life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users, and advancing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This unique laboratory environment is available for use by non-NASA U.S. government agencies, academic institutions, and the private sector. The ISS National Lab manages access to the permanent microgravity research environment, a powerful vantage point in low Earth orbit, and the extreme and varied conditions of space.