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Lindsay Crouch
(Phone: 757/864-3189, 757/870-6912, mobile)
RELEASE : 05-062
MISSE 'Suitcases' Return Home - Media Invited to View Grand Opening

The wait is over for the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) team - their valuable suitcases are almost home.

On Oct. 3, two MISSE suitcases will be opened for the first time since arriving back on Earth from their three-year stay in space. The project’s principal investigators and technicians will open these two Passive Experiment Containers (PECs) in a clean room at NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., and will begin a packed week of inspecting the material samples.

Media are invited to attend the grand opening of MISSEs 1 and 2, along with a discussion with William Kinard, MISSE principal investigator, Oct. 3 at NASA Langley. Media will also have the opportunity to enter the clean room for an up-close look at the samples. Media interested in attending should contact Jennifer Trinkle at 864-9266 by 10 a.m. Oct. 3, to arrange for entry on to the Center.

Astronaut Steve Robinson, a former NASA Langley employee, retrieved and returned two suitcases holding valuable materials for the MISSE project during a spacewalk on the Shuttle Discovery’s mission Saturday, July 30. These two suitcases had been attached to the International Space Station (ISS) since STS-105 delivered them in 2001. A new MISSE, MISSE 5, was attached to the ISS for its stay in space during an STS-114 spacewalk on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2005.

Once MISSEs 1 and 2 are opened and studied at NASA Langley by the project’s principal investigators, the materials will be transferred to the NASA centers from which they originated.

The only way to test how different materials will perform in space is to test them in that environment. Laboratories can simulate just one or two space environmental factors at a time. The research from MISSE will provide the insight needed to develop materials for future spacecraft and will also help researchers make materials and coatings that will last longer on Earth.

The MISSE Project is funded jointly by NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD). The Langley Research Center manages the MISSE project. Other NASA partners include NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Cleveland; Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Johnson Space Center, Houston; and Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.

DOD partners are Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, Calif.; Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, Va.; and Air Force Research Lab, Dayton, Ohio.

Industry partners include The Boeing Company, Chicago; Hughes Aircraft Company, Torrance, Calif.; Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md.; Loral, Seabrook, Md.; Rockwell International, Richardson, Texas; and TRW, Redondo Beach, Calif.

For more information on the MISSE project, visit:

For more information on research at NASA, visit:


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