Alpha Space Test and Research Alliance, LLC (Alpha Space) is a woman- and minority-owned company serving the Materials Science community with on-orbit, real-time pure materials science research. Alpha Space’s flight facility, MISSE, provides unparalleled testing and data collection for both passive and active material samples in the extreme environment of low earth orbit with sample return to earth for post-mission processing.
While Alpha Space is a new company (launched in 2015), the employees supporting it have a long, successful track record through work performed under MEI Technologies, Inc. (MEIT). Through MEIT’s legacy prime contract of over twenty years – now known as the DHEP Bridge (DHEP-B) contract which supports the DoD Space Test Program at NASA JSC – MEIT personnel have safely and successfully integrated over 300 payload and experiment packages for deployment on the ISS and Space Shuttle. Under this contract and its legacy contracts, MEIT personnel integrated the MISSE-1 through MISSE-8 experiments. The MISSE facility, built by Alpha Space in cooperation with NASA, is aptly named in continuation of this work performed by MEIT.
Stephanie Murphy is the principal Owner and Board Chairman of Alpha Space. She also currently serves as the Executive Chairman of the Board of MEI Technologies, Inc. (MEIT), an advanced technology company. Prior to this role, Stephanie served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer for MEIT, leading the company alongside the CEO, evaluating and overseeing management of company risk, financials, operations, and business development while integrating an executive team.
Stephanie serves on various professional boards, and she is a member of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP) and Johnson Space Center’s Joint Leadership Team (JLT).
Stephanie holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University. She serves as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary’s and volunteers her time to Space City Volunteers.
Mark Gittleman is the President & CEO of Alpha Space. Prior to joining Alpha Space, Mr. Gittleman was the Executive Vice President of Intuitive Machines, LLC and a long time executive with Oceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE: OII). He was the division VP & GM of Oceaneering Space Systems (OSS) and was instrumental in that division’s long-term success, starting with its founding. He also led one of OII’s large subsea oilfield products divisions which designed, manufactured, and serviced subsea equipment, including deep water control and distribution systems. Mr. Gittleman serves on several advisory boards, including the Subsea Valley Technology Cluster in Oslo, Norway; the University of Houston, Clear Lake College of Engineering and Computer Science; and the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP).
Mr. Gittleman holds a BS in Ocean Engineering, a BA in Political Science, and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.
Edelmiro (Ed) Muñiz was born from humble beginnings in Harlingen, Texas. He is a proud 1967 Texas A&M graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. Mr. Muñiz went on to earn his Masters and then served a twenty-year career in the Air Force, retiring as a Lt. Colonel. In 1992, he founded his own advanced technology company known today as MEI Technologies, Inc. (MEIT). MEIT serves the aerospace, defense, and biotechnology markets worldwide.
He currently serves as MEIT’s Executive Chairman of the Board. Mr. Muñiz is committed to the community, development of new technologies and continuing our exploration of space.
Mr. Griffin is the former Director of the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston. In prior positions at NASA he served as the Deputy Director of the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Hugh F. Dryden Flight Research Center in California. Mr. Griffin also held the posts of Associate Administrator for External Relations and Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.
During NASA's Apollo Program, Mr. Griffin was a Flight Director in Mission Control and served in this capacity for all of the Apollo manned missions. He was Lead Flight Director for three lunar landing missions: Apollo's 12, 15 and 17.
Mr. Boyd earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Air Force Academy as well as a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Air Force Institute of Technology. During his military career, he accumulated over 3000 flying hours as a fighter pilot and also served as a Flight Instructor and Squadron Commander. Mr. Boyd later served as the Space Technology Development Manager at the US Air Force Headquarters as well as US Air Force Manager of Space Shuttle Operations.
After retiring from the Air Force, Mr. Boyd was Vice President of Loral/Lockheed Martin, Senior Vice President at Science Applications International Corporation, and President of MEI Technologies, Inc.
Mr. Jones has been in the NASA and DoD space business for over fifty years.
Since 1988, Mr. Jones has been a NASA contractor supporting Shuttle and ISS engineering and operations including development of the Shuttle/Station Ops Planning System while with MOD. From 2001 to 2004, he managed MEI Technologies, Inc.’s (MEIT’s) Space Station Program Office Support Contract, followed by managing three consecutive DoD Shuttle and ISS Payload Integration contracts into 2015. A major DOD payload integration effort during that period was the six Materials International Space Station (MISSE) projects. Mr. Jones spearheaded MEIT’s proposal to NASA to build a commercial MISSE Flight Facility and served as Alpha Space’s first MISSE Program Manager before transitioning to consulting activities.
David Kanipe was born in Corpus Christi and attended Texas A&M University. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering followed by a Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. In November 1972, he suspended work on a Ph.D. to accept a position with NASA at what was then called the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.
David retired from NASA at the end of 2010 after more than 38 years of service to the US Space Program. His career spanned numerous projects and programs, including both crewed and robotic spacecraft. He was also heavily involved in both the Challenger and Columbia investigations.