NanoRacks originated from an idea developed in 2006 by David Anderman, who took the concept in 2008 to Jeffrey Manber and Michael Johnson, both of whom shared the vision of a low-cost, standardized commercial program for what was to become the U.S. National Lab on International Space Station.
The road was not easy–but we entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA that allows us to self-fund our own research hardware and facilities as part of the U.S. National Lab and to market those facilities commercially.
We began with our first two research platforms. And customers followed. We then added the MixStix hardware that allows educational and sophisticated biological projects with no power. Next came the Plate Reader, the Centrifgue, more research platforms and pretty soon we were in the business of offering quality research at cost-efficient prices to research organizations, government agencies, high schools, universities and even consumer companies.
Today we have the world’s first operational space company providing goods and services in low-earth orbit. NASA is a customer and so too are high schools.
Last year we became the first company to coordinate the deployment of a small satellite from the International Space Station, via the NASA/JAXA system. This business taking off, and we expect to meet the needs of American companies and those from other nations, to utilize the robustness of the ISS satellite deployment system.
This year, 2013 we are well underway with our most important new program, the External Platform Program (EPP). For the first time, by 2014, there will be a commercial pathway for payload testing and return outside of the space station. Astrium North America is the manufacturer of the Platform and we are on time and on budget for deployment.
We have developed four guiding principals for our business. These are: standardization of research hardware; miniturization of hardware where possible, keep the facilities open sourced so we can tap the creativity of everyone and finally, obsession with customer satisfaction. In any other market these principals would be normal–but for space operations we believe they are revolutionary.
At NanoRacks while we are focused on building space station utilization, we are also growing beyond the International Space Station, working both sub-orbital and GEO and beyond–but we will take with us our core principals to assure no matter how small the payload, or how important to our nation’s strategic interests that there is no reason that the space business should be treated as different from any other business.
We think this philosophy will take us far.