From Contract to Deployment in 94 Days

Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer on ISS

The Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer on the International Space Station.

That’s right. We’ve got a new internal record for Space Station satellite deployment.

At Nanoracks, we exist to serve our customers and to provide them fast and affordable access to space. As of last week, we have deployed over 260 small satellites from the International Space Station, and our future launch manifests are quickly filling up.

Early Thursday morning, we released seven CubeSats into low-Earth orbit, including two LEMUR-2 CubeSats from our good friends at Spire Global. But one of those satellites was not like the others. Nanoracks set a company record by taking one of the LEMUR-2 CubeSats, named Djara, from contract signing to deployment in just 94 days.

Djara, meaning ‘Stars’ in the language of the Australian indigenous Ngunnawal people, is a technology demonstration program between Spire and the Australian Office of National Intelligence (ONI).

Spire and ONI, have collaborated to rapidly move from concept to launch integrator within six (6) months and deployment on orbit in only nine (9) months.

A little bit about Spire Global: Spire is a leading data analytics provider with the world’s largest earth observation constellation of satellites for advanced weather data, maritime analytics, and aircraft tracking. This would qualify as one of the fastest projects they have had go from contract-to orbit in our company’s history. 

We were thrilled that Spire entrusted Nanoracks to get the job done, and asked Jake Cornish, our External Payloads Mission Manager, what his thoughts were:

“Of course, we were going to make this happen for Spire – this is our specialty. Our customers’ needs don’t always fit in a perfect contract template and timeline. That’s what makes our job fun. Our rapid launch and deployment capabilities allowed Spire to bring a new customer to orbit, further expanding our low-Earth orbit ecosystem.”

The mission focus of Djara is to conduct experiments with systems that enable the on-orbit analysis of open source radio frequency data using commercial reprogrammable Field Programmable Gate Arrays and Machine Learning systems on a chip.

While Djara is not an operational capability, it will provide the Australian National Intelligence Community the ability to explore the future possibilities of commercially available smart small satellite systems.

We love what we do at Nanoracks, and this mission proved to be yet another example of the power of commercial space mixed with a little creativity and a lot of drive. The deployment of Djara and six other incredible CubeSats marks Nanoracks’ 19th CubeSat mission on the International Space Station since 2014 – and we’ve got plenty more to come.

Final deployment times for the NRCSD-19 Mission:

Deployment 1 / SPOC, Bobcat-1 / 9:05:01 UTC

Deployment 2 /NEUTRON-1 /10:40:00 UTC

Deployment 3 / LEMUR-2  (Djara) / 12:15:00 UTC

Deployment 4 / DESCENT, SAT-LLA, LEMUR-2 /13:15:01 UTC


Until the next deployment!

– The Nanoracks Team


Nanoracks offers a variety of satellite deployment opportunities, including deployments from the International Space Station, the Cygnus Spacecraft, SpaceX Rideshare, and from India’s PSLV. Learn about all of our satellite opportunities here.

Fun Fact: Djara (pronounced Jar-ra) was named as a tribute and homage to the Ngunnawal (pronounced nun-ar-wol) people who inhabited the Ngunnawal nation in which the Australian capital Canberra (itself a derivative of the Ngunnawal word for ‘meeting place’ – kamberra) is located. Djara is a Ngunnawal word for ‘stars’.


About Nanoracks

Nanoracks LLC, an XO Markets company, is the world’s leading provider of commercial space services. Nanoracks believes commercial space utilization will enable innovation through in-space manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, fiber optics – and more, allow for revolutionary Earth observation, and make space a key player in finding the solution to Earth’s problems.

Today, the company offers low-cost, high-quality solutions to the most pressing needs for satellite deployment, basic and educational research, and more – in over 30 nations worldwide. Nanoracks’ future goals are focused on the re-purposing of the upper stages of launch vehicles in-space and converting these structures into commercial habitats, both humanly and robotically tended, throughout the solar system.

XO Markets, the world’s first commercial space holding company, includes Nanoracks LLC, Nanoracks UAE, and wholly owned subsidiaries DreamUp and Nanoracks Space Outpost Europe (Nanoracks-Europe).

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