ALPHA SPACE

Alpha Space Test & Research Alliance, LLC

R&D in Space | Reduce Technology Risk | Maximize TRL | Electronics, Solar Cells & Materials

Alpha Space’s MISSE is a commercial, external facility on the International Space Station that enables risk reduction testing for new technologies.  You can answer your and your customers’ most important questions:  Does a technology function properly in the harsh orbital environment over an extended time?  Will electronics hold up under the intense radiation and temperature extremes?  Will atomic oxygen or UV cause degradation?  Testing a new technology on MISSE answers these questions and can elevate spaceflight technology readiness to TRL-8 “Flight Qualified”.

Design Validation | Material Science | Solar Cell Testing

MISSE provides an unprecedented ability to test virtually anything – active electronics, solar cells, materials, systems, subsystems, and communication links are examples.  The MISSE environment includes extreme levels of solar- and charged-particle radiation, atomic oxygen, hard vacuum and temperature extremes.  MISSE enables exposure to any orbital direction (ram, wake, zenith and nadir) and offers substantial enclosed volume for testing technologies.  Power, data downlink, experiment commanding, high definition photos and data from numerous environmental sensors are available from MISSE. 

Two Launches and Two Return Flights per Year 

There is a MISSE launch and a return flight about every six months.  This six-month rotation means that you get your technology on orbit, tested, and returned quickly.  Plus, you get photos and data during your orbital test.  Receiving your flown technology hardware back enables a detailed analysis of the effects of spaceflight.  MISSE’s rapid flight–orbital test–return service is unique and an ideal opportunity for efficiently reducing risk before flying a new technology on an operational space vehicle.

Unparalleled On-Orbit Flexibility

MISSE accommodates virtually any type of technology; passive and powered.  Whether you want to reduce risk before flying a technology or if you are conducting basic research, MISSE is an ideal test platform for the external space environment.  The flight facility can have up to 12 MISSE technology carriers installed at a time.  One or multiple customer technologies can fly on each carrier.

MISSE Carrier Capabilities

PowerMISSE

  • Circuit cards, RF systems, flash drives, mechanisms, etc.
  • 75W of 28VDC power
  • RS 422 data & commanding connection
  • Direct exposure to orbital environment (like Material MISSE), if desired
  • Sensors available:  temperature, contamination, UV intensity, radiation, AO
  • Under deck mounting if direct exposure not required (vacuum, thermal cycles & radiation only)

MaterialMISSE

  • Coatings, samples, tapes, polymers, fabrics, etc.
  • Direct exposure deck mounting
  • Exposure to atomic oxygen, UV, radiation, thermal cycles micrometeors
  • HD photos document on orbit effects
  • Sensors available:  temperature, contamination, UV intensity, radiation, AO

SolarCellMISSE

  • Solar cell performance testing
  • Zenith exposure (periodic solar noon)
  • Current vs. Voltage curves
  • Known Sun angles
  • Orbital environment exposure (vacuum, AO, UV, thermal cycles, radiation, micrometeors, etc.)
  • Sensors available:  temperature, contamination, UV intensity, radiation, AO

BioMISSE (coming soon!)

  • Live cell & tissue cultures
  • Exposure outside of the shielded crew modules
  • Variable levels & types of radiation protection
  • Up to 14-day external ISS exposures
  • Cells/tissues fixed after external exposure

Unprecedented Access to Space

If it fits, it flies. Alpha Space offers space for everyone.

Access to space is no longer limited to only NASA scientists. Corporations, entrepreneurs and private business owners who see a business opportunity can now access space testing for their products and technologies.

Private individuals can now also fly personal items in space! Alpha Space has negotiated a unique Space Act Agreement with NASA that enables the affordable flight of personal items on the International Space Station. You can fly virtually anything that matters to you and get it back after about six months orbiting the Earth. The items flown can be legally sold, if desired. Contact Alpha Space for more information about volume, weight and pricing.

You choose your preferred testing location on MISSE

Alpha Space is the only company that has a regular cadence for launches and return flights for getting your experiment hardware back to you. You can even choose the MISSE location for your test.

Affordable Access to Space

Companies small and large, universities as well as individuals can easily fly items on MISSE.

Industries that can benefit from testing on MISSE:

  • Spacecraft - flight hardware; astronaut clothing and protection systems
  • Energy - solar cell calibration; UV impact studies; component endurance & long-term performance
  • Aeronautics - aircraft; flight hardware, coatings, solar cell
  • Advanced Manufacturing - UV and vacuum material impact studies; subscale demonstrations
  • Automotive - UV material impact studies; paint studies
  • Transportation - UV material impact studies; heat studies

Some of the benefits you gain by testing your technologies on MISSE:

  • Affordable, rapid results
  • Greater return on investment than lab simulated environments
  • Customized fit so you only purchase what you need
  • Accelerated test results compared to lab simulated environments
  • Maximize TRL; flight heritage, TRL-8 Flight Qualified is achievable in under six months

Private individuals can now also fly personal items on MISSE and get them back!

  • Alpha Space legally offers this service under a unique Space Act Agreement with NASA
  • ANYBODY can fly a personal item
  • Pictures, family heirlooms, jewelry, whatever item is importance to you
  • Flown items can be legally sold, if desired
  • Typical missions last about six months (over 1,800 orbits)