The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate has collaborated with NASA, the Georgia Tech Research Institute and DuPont de Nemours on a scientific cargo that launched aboard a SpaceX spacecraft.
AFRL said Thursday the Dragon cargo spacecraft delivered to the International Space Station the 16 Materials International Space Station Experiment that consists of brand-new spacecraft materials never before tested in space.
The MISSE-16 project has been installed into the ISS’ Materials International Space Station Flight Facility where it will remain for the next six months to collect data for analysis.
“A primary objective of AFRL is to use the real space weather exposure of the ISS to validate simulated space weather exposure of materials on the ground,” said Ryan Hoffmann, AFRL’s MISSE-16 mission manager.
Hoffmann said AFRL and GTRI will investigate selected materials that show potential aerospace, avionics and spacecraft applications in low-Earth orbit.
“The data collected will aid in the development of technology to image spacecraft through the atmosphere using ground-based telescopes and will help to track hazardous space debris that is typically very dim and difficult to keep track of,” said Elena Plis, a senior research engineer at the Electro-Optical Systems Laboratory/Georgia Tech Research Institute.