Winner of Open Source Research Platform Announced
(Las Cruces) NanoRacks (NR) today announced the selection of a winning proposal for their Announcement of Opportunity for off the shelf NanoLabs on the International Space Station. Infinity Aerospace was selected for their proposal to design, develop and market an Arduino based, open-source, 1U NanoLab for use on the NanoRacks space station research platforms, as well as all other platforms including Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.
“The community was challenged to create an open source, easy to use NanoLab and Infinity Aerospace’s proposal hit the target beautifully, both in the technical design and the spirit of the competition,” explained Richard Pournelle, senior vice-president of NanoRacks. Under the terms of the AO, the winning entry receives $2,000 in seed funding from NanoRacks, technical assistance on complying with NASA space station safety requirements, and the ability to have their winning products marketed by NanoRacks’ to their educational and research customers.
Infinity Aerospace’s “ArduLab Education” model is an Arduino based, open source, 1U cubesat form factor platform enabling students to literally “plug and play” with sensors and other technology for conducting valuable scientific research on the International Space Station (ISS). By supporting all the off the shelf sensors already compatible with the Arduino software platform, ArduLab will enable students and researchers to rapidly develop experiments focused on the environment onboard the ISS. Arduino is used by hundreds of thousands of people around the world by varied age groups.
The ArduLab Education NanoLab comes with a microcontroller board and non-metallic structure specifically designed for the space environment and ready to integrate with the NanoRacks’ Platforms now permanently on the U.S. National Lab on space station.
“I can see students coming up with open source microscope designs installed inside the ArduLab to literally see how small organisms reproduce in space. This is just one of thousands of experiments one can do with ArduLab. That’s the power of ArduLab,” Manu Sharma, co-founder of Infinity Aerospace stated. Added co-founder Brian Rieger, “ ArduLab lets students and researchers focus on their actual projects more than ever. That’s because ArduLab will be certified and ready for space right out of the box.”
Infinity Aerospace expects to have the first units available by the end of the year. The suggested retail price for the “ArduLab Education” model will be under $2,500 making it easily affordable for any educational or scientific community.
“NanoRacks views the “ArduLab Education” model as a significant step forward in creating a vibrant ecosystem with our existing in-space products for both student and industry research projects,” added Jeffrey Manber, managing director of NanoRacks. “We are excited to be working with Infinity Aerospace to give a massive booster shot to utilization of U.S. National Lab on ISS. What happens next will be really fun to watch.”
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide quality hardware and services utilizing the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station and beyond. The company developed and has two research platforms onboard the U.S. National Laboratory which can house plug and play payloads using the CubeSat form factor. The current signed customer pipeline of over 80 payloads including domestic and international educational institutions, research organizations and government organizations, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low‐earth orbit utilization.
About Infinity Aerospace
Infinity Aerospace is developing platforms and infrastructure with an open source mentality that will drastically reduce the costs of research and services within the aerospace sector. At Infinity Aerospace, we believe simplifying, streamlining, and sometimes removing costly and/or complicated processes in the aerospace sector will break open the flood gates and catalyze exponential growth.