The Materials International Space Station Experiment-7 (MISSE-7) is a test bed for materials and coatings attached to the outside of the International Space Station being evaluated for the effects of atomic oxygen, ultraviolet, direct sunlight, radiation and extremes of heat and cold. This experiment allows the development and testing of new materials to better withstand the rigors of space environment. Results will provide a better understanding of the durability of various materials when they are exposed to the space environment with applications in the design of future spacecraft.Principal Investigator(s)
United States Department of Defense Space Test Program, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory - Department of Defense (NL-DoD)Research Benefits
Information PendingISS Expedition Duration:
October 2009 - September 2011Expeditions Assigned
21/22,23/24,25/26,27/28Previous ISS Missions
NASA has conducted a series of space experiments to determine the best materials to survive in the space environment on Shuttle and Mir. MISSE-1 and 2 were delivered to ISS on STS-105 in August 2001 and returned on STS-114 in August 2005. MISSE-5 was deployed during STS-114 and returned on STS-115. MISSE-3 and 4 were delivered to ISS on STS-121 in July 2006 and returned on STS-118 in August 2007. MISSE-6A and 6B were delivered to the ISS on STS-123 in March 2008 and will return in 2009.
Materials International Space Station Experiment-7 (MISSE-7) is a suite of experiments that include over 700 new and affordable materials. The samples tested have potential use in advanced reusable launch systems and advanced spacecraft systems including solar cells, optics, sensors, electronics, power, coatings, structural materials and protection for the next generation of spacecraft. The development of the next generation of materials and material technologies is essential to the mission of traveling beyond Earth?s orbit.
The samples are installed in holders and placed in experiment trays, called Passive Experiment Containers (PECs). For MISSE-7 there are two PECs, 7A and 7B, which will be mounted on the outside of the ISS and hold samples on both sides of the PECs. PEC 7A?s orientation will be zenith/nadir (space facing/Earth facing) while PEC 7B will face ram/wake (forward/backward) relative to the ISS orbit. This installment of experiments for the MISSE program will be the first to receive power directly from the ISS and use the ISS communication system uplink/downlink capabilities to receive commands downlink data.
Results will provide a better understanding of the durability of various materials when they are exposed to the space environment. Many of the materials may have applications in the design of future spacecraft.Earth Applications
The new advanced materials and components that will be demonstrated in MISSE-7 will improve the performance, increase the useful life, and reduce the costs of future space operations of commercial weather, communication and Earth observation satellites that we all now depend on, as well as enhance solar cell technology.
MISSE-7 is mounted to the Station's exterior on an EXPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC). It requires power and data provided by the Station, but does not require crew interaction. The critical interaction is between the samples and the space environment.Operational Protocols
During extravehicular activity astronauts will install the MISSE-7 on the ISS. During EVAs throughout the deployment of MISSE-7 crewmembers will capture snapshots of the PECs, if time permits. Another set of crewmembers in a later increment will retrieve MISSE-7 when the experiment is completed. The samples will be returned to the investigators, who will carefully examine each to determine how the materials fared.