In 2017, the MIT Media Lab set its sights on space, and three years later, in March 2020, the Space Exploration Initiative launched five payloads to the International Space Station on SpaceX CRS-20 for a 30 day mission. Now, two years after the first launch, we are going back, this time with three additonal payloads! This opportunity allows the research teams to study the effects of microgravity, on-station radiation environment, and launch loads on their hardware in preparation for further deployments. This mission marks the Media Lab's fourth rocket launch and constitutes a core milestone in the schedule of iterative microgravity testing that the Space Exploration Initiative undertakes throughout each year. For this launch opportunity, the payloads have been integrated into the Nanoracks BlackBox platform.
On Saturday, November 26, 2022 19:20:42 UTC (2:20:42pm EST), a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule launched to the ISS as CRS-26 with our payloads aboard, docking with the station the following day. The payloads remained in orbit for 45 days before splashing down in the Gulf of Mexico and returned to researchers for analysis.