Materials Science Research Pack (MSRR)


MSRR - Material Science Research Rack
Flight Rack
MSRR-Material Science Research Rack
Mockup with second
furnace on left

The Material Science Research Rack-1 (MSRR-1) is the first materials science research facility planned for the ISS that has the capability to provide a micro-gravity environment during directional solidification of samples, crystal growth experiments or during measurement of diffusion coefficients. MSRR-1 is an International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) outfitted with custom designed subsystems to provide ground controllers or the onboard crew with the capability to monitor and control high temperature material research.
MSSR-1 was developed as a joint design and integration effort by the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ESA designed and developed the Materials Science Laboratory (MSL) that fits in the right side of the rack. It accommodates one of two interchangeable furnaces – the Low Gradient Furnace or the Solidification and Quench Furnace.  NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) designed and developed the subsystems to accommodate the planned operations of the MSL. 

MSFC has also performed the hardware/software integration, testing and verification necessary to certify the facility for flight. MSRR-1 was launched in August of 2009 on Shuttle Flight 17A.

Future Growth Possible

Currently the left side of the rack is accommodating stowage of MSL samples to be processed and miscellaneous items of MSL replacement hardware. The left side also contains interface panels for all the subsystems in the rack, including: Thermal control, Power, Ethernet, Video, 1553, Vacuum and Gas supply. This makes it possible for new materials processing devices to be integrated into the MSRR-1 rack on-orbit. 

The Material Science Research Rack-1 is available for International Space Station’s U.S. National Laboratory payload usage.

Visit: International Space Station National Laboratory

For more information, please contact:

MSRR-1 Project Manager: Jimmie Johnson 
(256) 544-0852