INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION PAYLOADS
The Space Collective has worked with the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) payload provider Aegis Aerospace, formerly known as Alpha Space, for several years, launching payloads up to the International Space Station that contain artifacts that are readily available for purchase on our website.
To date, we have launched five payloads up to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX Dragon and Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, each containing artifacts such as name tags, embroidered patches, flags, pins, and more. Our payloads have collectively logged around 725 million nautical miles, orbited Earth 28,687 times, and have been exposed to the harsh environment for 1814 days.
The opportunity to launch artifacts into space is a rare privilege, one that we're honored and proud to fulfill.
PREPARE FOR LIFTOFF
Once our payloads have been flight certified, they're handed over to NASA and are then loaded aboard and launched into space aboard one of two available spacecraft;
- SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket & Dragon Spacecraft
- Northrop Grumman Antares Rocket & Cygnus Spacecraft
Both vehicles have a proven track record of success and are beacons of American spaceflight engineering prowess.
ASTRONAUTS AT WORK
When our payloads are safe aboard the International Space Station, they're attached to the MISSE platform within the station by the astronauts aboard. When ready, the payload is then moved into the airlock, ready for deployment.
The deployment of the payload is very much reliant on the expertise of the astronauts aboard the space station. It is they who unload, prepare, and deploy the payloads.
The space station astronauts are a key part of our success!
Our payloads are not just launched up to the International Space Station; they're also deployed outside using the ISS robotic arm, the Canadarm, and attached to the MISSE platform near the Space Station solar array (pictured below).
Most payloads never leave the confines of the Space Station and those that do must be shielded specifically to ensure their survival in the harsh environment of outer space.
EXPOSED TO SPACE
While exposed to outer space, the payload is bombarded by:
- Temperatures of deep space
- Electromagnetic radiation (UV-A, UV-B, UV-C, Visible Light, IR)
- Micro-gravity (weightlessness)
- Vacuum of space
But don't worry; our payload has shielding to protect it and its valuable contents from damage!
EARN THOSE SPACE MILES
Our payloads orbit Earth anywhere between 6 and 12 months.
On a 6-month mission, the payload and the contents within orbit Earth over 2000 times, traveling roughly 60 million nautical miles before returning to Earth!
How is that for mileage?
RETURN OF THE DRAGON
After the mission has been concluded, the payload is detached from the MISSE platform by the astronauts using the Canadarm, brought back inside the space station, and loaded onto a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, ready to return to Earth.
When safely splashed down, the payload is retrieved from the Dragon and returned to NASA. At this point, NASA conducts the relevant decommission, decontamination, and closeout procedures. Then, when the payload is deemed safe to handle, NASA returns the payload to us with all of its glorious, flown-in-space contents.