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NASA Materials Science Research Rack Arrives For Processing

Press Release From: Kennedy Space Center
Posted: Monday, December 8, 2008

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - A multiuse materials science laboratory arrived Dec. 4 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., to begin the first leg of its journey to the International Space Station. The research rack traveled from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., to Kennedy for final flight preparations.

The Materials Science Research Rack, or MSSR, will allow for study of a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, semiconductor crystals and glasses onboard the orbiting laboratory. It is scheduled to fly aboard space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-128, targeted for launch in July 2009. After arriving at the station, the rack will be housed in the U.S. Destiny laboratory.

The research rack is a highly automated facility and contains two furnace inserts in which sample cartridges will be processed up to temperatures of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The MSSR is about the size of a large refrigerator, measuring 6 feet high, 3.5 feet wide and 40 inches deep, and weighs about 1 ton. The rack will be installed in the Leonardo logistics module for transport to the station.

For more information on the space station, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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