June 16, 2014 Houston, TX – NanoRacks and Astrium North America are excited to announce that the first-ever commercial External Payload Platform for the International Space Station has entered NASA verification tests in preparation for a launch to the space station later this year.
This External Payload Platform (NREP) will provide low cost, repeatable access to the outside space environment as well as allowing payload return.
The External Payload Platform (NREP) will host payloads in the open space environment while attached to the JAXA Japanese External Facility (JEM-EF).
“The NREP will put the proven NanoRacks ‘plug-and-play’ feature on the front porch of the universe,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “Our platform directly exposes research to the space environment while allowing for human payload interface. We are so excited to lead this innovative work.”
The Platform is the natural continuation of the success being shown on ISS utilization from NanoRacks’ customers, both on internal payloads and small satellite deployment, with over 200 payloads, including 100 satellites under contract.
The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has funded the first several payloads onboard the NREP for commercial researchers.
“The NanoRacks External Platform will be an invaluable tool to better understand research conducted in the extreme environment of space,” said CASIS Director of Operations Ken Shields. “In fact, multiple CASIS-sponsored payloads are already manifested to use this new hardware, and we are very encouraged by the response we have seen by researchers interested in the External Platform to further utilize the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.”
There are a number of applications that the External Payload Platform provides, including: sensor target testing, biological testing, access to station power and data, flight qualification, materials testing, and more. The NREP will allow for high data rates, payload return, risk mitigation, and predictable and frequent service.
About Astrium North America
Astrium North America is a U.S. based company incorporated in 1973 specializing in program and project management, software engineering, external carrier development and integration services, experiment and payload processing, life and physical sciences hardware and flight simulation and training for the international aerospace community.
Please visit www.astrium-na.com for more information.
About NanoRacks, LLC
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. The Company is unique in owning and marketing its own family of hardware, both inside and external to the space Station. To date over 200 payloads have been deployed on space station and the current signed customer pipeline of over 150 payloads, including pharmaceutical drug research, Cubesat and small satellite deployment, and commercial and governmental research, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low-earth orbit utilization. For more information visit nanoracks.com and follow @nanoracks on Twitter.
Download the full press release.