By Jeffrey Manber – We have been working around the clock to not only create proposals for NASA’s SBIR 2011, but to answer questions and work with other companies that are submitting proposals based on NanoRacks’ facilities and standards.
It’s been a strange experience. Multiple times over the past couple of weeks, Mike Johnson and his team have found themselves helping companies understand our system and our weak points. Why are we helping other companies? The hope is that we are on the cusp of having an “ecosystem” of multiple products designed to leverage services for customers using our facilities.
We consider these tools the space program equal to apps–products designed to make it easier for the customer to access data from space station research operations. If another company has a great app for our hardware, that’s fantastic.
Recently, Pumpkin of CubeSat fame, https://www.cubesatkit.com/content/news.html unveiled a similar off the shelf offering for Nanolabs. The Pumpkin hardware allows a customer to have a fully operating NanoLab all ready to go, leaving one free to devote their energy and time to the research, and not building the hardware.
“New products announced include the NanoLab Kit™ — a development environment for the ISS-based NanoRacks® — and the CubeSat Kit™ PPM E1,” – Pumpkin
This is what we mean by an ecosystem. And the Pumpkin NanoLab is the first of what we hope is a long product line for low-earth orbit operations, not to mention sub-orbital and beyond.