NanoRacks External Platform Deployed Outside International Space Station
August 9th, 2016 – Houston, TX – NanoRacks’ commercial gateway to space is officially open for business. The NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) has been placed outside of the International Space Station (ISS) on the JEM Exposed Facility.
The self-funded NREP is the first-ever commercial gateway-and-return to the extreme environment of space. Following the CubeSat form factor, payloads can now experience the microgravity, radiation and other harsh elements native to the space environment, observe earth, test sensors, materials, and electronics, all while having the opportunity to return the payload back to Earth.
“Free flyers are now not the only option,” says NanoRacks External Payloads Manager, Kirk Woellert. “With NREP, a customer can do just about anything they can with a free flyer, but now have the opportunity to return those materials to Earth at competitive prices and understand the effects of the space environment. This will completely transform the way we understand the true effects of microgravity.”
The External Platform was manufactured by Airbus whose Houston office also works with NanoRacks’ on customer development.
For NanoRacks this is the Company’s first major step for owning and operating major commercial hardware in low-Earth orbit.
“Three years ago, our investors had a strong belief that it was worth investing millions in Station utilization,” says Jeffery Manber, CEO. “Already our customers are so pleased by this first commercial opportunity to work outside of the Space Station.”
NanoRacks would like to thank the astronaut crew, JAXA, NASA, and our own operations team for all the work done to install the NREP, and to transfer the hardware and payloads from the JEM Airlock to the JEM Exposed Facility.
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NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. NanoRacks’ main office is in Houston, Texas, right alongside the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Business Development office is in Washington, DC. Additional offices are located in Silicon Valley, California and Leiden, Netherlands.
In July 2015, NanoRacks signed a teaming agreement with Blue Origin to offer integration services on their New Shepard space vehicle. The Company has grown into the Operating System for Space Utilization by having the tools, the hardware and the services to allow other companies, organizations and governments to realize their own space plans.
As of July 2016, over 370 payloads have been launched to the International Space Station via NanoRacks services, and our customer base includes the European Space Agency (ESA) the German Space Agency (DLR,) the American space agency (NASA,) US Government Agencies, Planet Labs, Urthecast, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel.