Number of locations
|5 (4 are terrestrial, 1 is lab space on ISS in low-Earth orbit)|
|Jeffrey Manber and|
Small satellite launch services;
CubeSat launch services;
Microgravity payload integration
Number of employees
Nanoracks LLC is a private in-space services company[better source needed] which builds tools to allow for the re-purposing of in-space hardware ("space junk") and turn it into space stations.[not verified in body]
Nanoracks's main office is in Houston, Texas. The business development office is in Washington, D.C., and additional offices are located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turin, Italy. Nanoracks provides tools, hardware and services that allow other companies, organizations and governments to conduct research and other projects in space.
Some of Nanoracks customers include Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP), the European Space Agency (ESA), the German Space Agency (DLR), NASA, Planet Labs, Space Florida, Virgin Galactic, Adidas, Aerospace Corporation, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), UAE Space Agency, Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC), and the Beijing Institute of Technology.
Nanoracks was founded in 2009 by Jeffrey Manber and Charles Miller to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory on board the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. Nanoracks signed their first contract with NASA in September 2009 and had their first laboratory on the Space Station in April 2010.
In August 2012, Nanoracks partnered with Space Florida to host the Space Florida International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition. As part of this program, Nanoracks and DreamUp provide research NanoLab box units to fly payloads to the ISS, with scientific research to be conducted on board the U.S. National Laboratory. In October 2013, Nanoracks became the first company to coordinate the deployment of small satellites from the ISS via the airlock in the Japanese Kibō module. This deployment was done using the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD).
By 2015, Nanoracks had deployed 64 satellites into low Earth orbit, and had 16 satellites on the ISS awaiting deployment, with an order backlog of 99. The company also announced an agreement to fly a Chinese DNA experiment from the Beijing Institute of Technology on the International Space Station. The agreement includes Nanoracks delivering the experiment to the American side of the ISS in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and berthing the experiment to Nanoracks' orbiting laboratory facilities, then sending data back to the Chinese researchers.
The Nanoracks Bishop Airlock is a commercially-funded airlock module launched to the International Space Station on SpaceX CRS-21 on 6 December 2020. The module was built by Nanoracks, Thales Alenia Space, and Boeing.[better source needed] It will be used to deploy CubeSats, small satellites, and other external payloads for NASA, Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), and other commercial and governmental customers.
Nanoracks facilities on the International Space Station (ISS) include the Plate Reader-2 – a Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5e modified for space flight and the microgravity environment. This spectrophotometer analyzes samples by shining light (200-1000 nm) either on or through the top or bottom of each sample in the well of a microplate. The Nanoracks Plate Reader-2 can accommodate cuvettes in special microplate holders as well as 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, 96-, and 384-well microplates. It can operate in absorbance, fluorescence intensity, or fluorescence polarization modes. Laboratory space on the ISS is provided to Nanoracks by NASA under a contractual lease arrangement.
Nanoracks deploys small CubeSats into orbit from the ISS through the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer via the airlock in the Japanese Kibō module, after the satellites are transported to the ISS on a cargo spacecraft. When released, the small satellites are provided a push of about 1 m/s (3.3 ft/s) that begins a slow process of satellite separation from the ISS.
The Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) is a self-contained deployment system that mechanically and electrically isolates CubeSats from the ISS, the ISS crew, and cargo resupply vehicles. The design of the NRCSD is compliant with the ISS flight safety requirements and is space qualified. The deployer is composed of anodized aluminum plates, access panels, deployer doors, and a base plate assembly. The inside of the NRCSD is designed to minimize and/or preclude the jamming of CubeSat appendages during deployment.
The Nanoracks External Platform (NREP), installed in August 2016, is a commercial gateway-and-return to the extreme environment of space. Following the CubeSat form factor, payloads experience the microgravity, radiation and other harsh elements native to the space environment, observe earth, test sensors, materials, and electronics, and can return the payload to Earth.
The Nanoracks Kaber Microsat Deployer is a reusable system that allows the International Space Station to control and command satellite deployments. It can deploy microsatellites up to 82 kg into space. Microsatellites that are compatible with the Kaber Deployer have additional power, volume, and communication resources, which allows for deployments of higher scope and sophistication.
The satellite deployment service enabled satellites to be deployed at an altitude higher than the ISS via a Commercial Resupply Vehicle. These satellites are deployed after the completion of the primary cargo delivery mission and can fly at 500 kilometers above Earth and ca. 100 kilometers above the ISS and extends the life of CubeSats already deployed in low-Earth orbit. The Cygnus Deployer holds a total volume of 36U and adds approximately two years to the lifespan of these satellites.
Mars Demo-1 (OMD-1) is a self-contained hosted payload platform to demonstrate the robotic cutting of second stage representative tank material on-orbit.