A rendering of a Nanoracks Outpost, build from the spent upper stage of a launch vehicle.
Webster, Texas – November 16, 2020 – Nanoracks, the leading provider of commercial space services, based in Webster, TX, has recently selected G.W. Carver High School, in the Aldine, TX school district, as an educational partner to help develop flight hardware for Mars Demo-1, Nanoracks’ first in-space Outpost demonstration mission.
For the Mars Demo-1 mission, Nanoracks, in collaboration with Maxar, will be building and operating a self-contained platform that will demonstrate the robotic cutting of second stage representative tank material on-orbit. This test will be the first of its kind to demonstrate the future ability to convert spent rocket upper stages in orbit into commercial habitats – a long-term goal of Nanoracks.
The articulating robotic arm in this demonstration will use a friction milling end-effector to make cuts in the representative metal. This friction milling will use high rotations per minute melting the metal material in such a way that a cut is made, yet it avoids generating a single piece of debris.
The students assigned to this project will be mentored by both Nanoracks’ engineers and project managers, as well as CTE engineering staff at Carver High School. These students will have the opportunity to design several mechanical components as well as manufacture them either at their Carver engineering facility or the nearby Eisenhower High School; both schools are in Acers Home, Texas.
Nanoracks has been a leader in engaging students in space exploration for over a decade, having launched, in partnership with their educational sister company, DreamUp, hundreds of student research experiments to the International Space Station.
“I cannot wait to get to work with the incredible students at G.W. Carver High School right here in Texas, says Monikka Mann, Project Manager for the Mars Demo-1 mission at Nanoracks. “Providing real world experience to students can change their future, provide them opportunities they have never dreamed of, and show them why working in the aerospace industry is such an exciting career path.
In addition to this project, Nanoracks is will be encouraging G.W. Carver to seek additional partners within the school district to develop unique ideas for in-space agricultural and biosciences research concepts.
These real-world project-based learning activities are designed to appeal to the interests and capabilities of the students at Carver High School as well as across the district.
The project is scheduled to fly on a Space X Falcon 9 rocket in December of 2021.
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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).