NanoRacks Begins Third International Space Station External Platform Mission In Extreme Space Environment
January 10, 2018 – Houston, Texas – This morning, the NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) was reinstalled on the outside of the International Space Station, initiating the commercial platform’s third customer mission. The External Platform, self-funded by NanoRacks, is the leading commercial gateway to the extreme environment of space. Customers can experience the microgravity, atomic oxygen, radiation and other harsh elements native to the space environment. Additionally, customers can observe Earth, test sensors, materials, and electronics, all while having the opportunity to return the payload back to Earth.
The platform has been mounted on the outside of the Space Station, completing its second mission, since early May 2017. Last week, the astronaut crew brought the platform back inside the Space Station via the Japanese Kibo Airlock, and completed the second payload swap out, preparing for the third mission.
“I’d like to give a big thank you to Astronaut Norishige Kanai for the managing the successful payload swap out and installation, and thank you as well to Astronaut Scott Tingle for the added support,” says NanoRacks Operations Engineer, Jerry Mathew. “It has been wonderful working with this crew and we look forward to continued successful payload operations for the duration of this mission.”
This External Platform mission is hosting the Cavalier Space Processor (Cavalier) payload, which consists of a 10 by 10 by 40 centimeter aluminum enclosure, along with an externally mounted antenna and internal processing electronics. Cavalier is a receive-only experiment, and does not have transmitting capability.
Cavalier was recently launched on the Orbital ATK CRS-8 (OA-8) mission on November 12, 2017.
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About the NanoRacks External Platform:
NREP, which is self-funded by NanoRacks, is externally mounted to the Station on the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility and provides the first-ever commercial gateway to the extreme space environment. Following the CubeSat form factor, payloads can experience microgravity and radiation, observe earth, test sensors and electronics, and experience other harsh elements native to the space – all while having the ability to return the payload back to Earth. The External Platform is also a stepping-stone in NanoRacks’ growing programs towards building a deeper understanding of working in the outside environment of space, including developments in both the NanoRacks Airlock Module and the Ixion program.
NanoRacks is enabling space research and in-space services to customers world-wide from multiple platforms and launch vehicles. The company offers low-cost, high-quality solutions to the most pressing needs for satellite deployment, basic and educational research and both at home and in 30 nations world-wide for those new to the industry and aerospace veterans. Since 2009, Texas-based NanoRacks has truly created new markets, and ushered in a new era of in space-services.
In July 2015, NanoRacks signed a teaming agreement with Blue Origin to offer integration services on their New Shepard space vehicle. NanoRacks, along with partners at ULA and Space Systems Loral was also selected by NASA to participate in the NextSTEPs Phase II program to develop commercial habitation systems in low-Earth orbit and beyond.
As of January 2018, over 600 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, Millennium Space Systems, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel.