NASA Microgravity Solidification Experiments for the International Space Station


  • Justin McElderry Milwaukee School of Engineering NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Tristan Phillips University of Alabama NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Micah Hardyman Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  • James Ragan University of Washington NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Rahul Rameshbabu Georgia Institute of Technology NASA Marshall Space Flight Center



Microgravity, Solidification, International Space Station, Material Science, Manufacturing


MMaJIC (Microgravity Materials Joining Investigation Chamber) is a modular experiment environment for performing materials science investigations. MMaJIC provides a controlled and sealed test environment for a wide variety of soldering and brazing experiment to examine porosity in microgravity. MMaJIC’s modular cartridge design includes a tray for housing the solder experiments demonstrates simplicity to astronauts. SoLIDD (Solid Liquid Interface Directional Device) is a device that is used to test samples for directional solidification experiments. Directional solidification is the method of controlling the microstructure of materials. Solidification is useful for creating higher strength materials for space casting. SoLIDD has the capability for varying temperature gradient and growth velocity. These quantities utilize heaters, coolers, and a directional drive unit. Two high-resolution cameras capture high-resolution video of both experiments and thermocouples record live-stream temperature data. Both devices are approved by NASA Headquarters to be contracted to the International Space Station for further investigation.

Author Biography

Justin McElderry, Milwaukee School of Engineering NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

I am a mechanical engineering student with an interest in design engineering for innovative aerospace, energy, and robotic technology. I deliver solutions from efficient designing, knowledge in complex mathematics, and leadership in the aeronautical and energy engineering field. One experience has included an internship at NASA where I conducted research and development for two microgravity solidification experiments for the ISS. During school, I am leading the Material Handling Sub-Team for the NASA Robotic Mining Team at MSOE in the mission to develop engineering mechanisms and components through experimentation that could assist NASA’s journey to Mars.


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Daly, Shannen, (2017). MMaJIC, an Experimental Chamber for Investigating Soldering and Brazing in Microgravity. Gravitational and Space Research, vol. 5 no. 2, 31, pp. 28–34.

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How to Cite

McElderry, J., Phillips, T., Hardyman, M., Ragan, J., & Rameshbabu, R. (2019). NASA Microgravity Solidification Experiments for the International Space Station. Proceedings of the Wisconsin Space Conference, 1(1).



Physics and Engineering