Nanoracks Deploys CubeSats from Cygnus Spacecraft, Demonstrates Future Reusability Goals


Houston, TX – June 9, 2017 – Yesterday evening, NanoRacks successfully deployed four Spire LEMUR-2 CubeSats from Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft at a nearly 500-kilometer orbit. This was the second mission where NanoRacks deployed CubeSats at an altitude above the International Space Station orbit, and the third External Cygnus Deployment (E-NRCSD) mission overall.

NanoRacks, working with Orbital ATK and NASA, has continued to grow the External Cygnus Deployment program, which is focused on extending the mission of cargo vehicles after their primary stay at the ISS. Spire has been the flagship customer for this deployment platform, growing their fleet of weather and ship-tracking CubeSats, now with 12 satellites deployed via E-NRCSD, and 20 overall via NanoRacks.

This program is a stepping-stone into NanoRacks larger goal of reusing in-space hardware for creation of commercial space stations and habitats. The Company publicly announced this goal upon being awarded funding by NASA’s NextSTEP Phase-II Program for studying reusability of the upper stages of rockets, along with partners at Space Systems Loral (SSL) and United Launch Alliance (ULA).

“This program is unique for a number of reasons,” says NanoRacks Mission Manager, Henry Martin. “Not only are we deploying exciting commercial satellites, but we’re also at the tipping point for showing the limitless possibilities of repurposing in-space vehicles. Our customer base is growing for future missions, and we have plans to expand our opportunities within the next year. Our entire satellite team looks forward to continuing to work with Orbital ATK on the multipurpose use of the Cygnus spacecraft.”

The release of these four Spire LEMUR-2 CubeSats completes the NanoRacks’ deployments from the Orbital ATK Commercial Resupply Services Mission-7 (OA-7), which also included 34 additional satellites deployed from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) on the International Space Station.

The OA-7 launch brought the Company’s largest CubeSat mission to date into orbit, totaling 38 satellites.

Availability remains for satellite customers interested in launching on the Orbital ATK CRS-9 E-NRCSD Mission, with additional availability as well as on Orbital ATK CRS-10 and beyond. To book your spot, email NanoRacks at info@nanoracks.com.

Thank you to NASA, the ISS Program Office, and Orbital ATK for their continued support on this program.

Download the press release PDF here.

For media inquiries, please contact Abby Dickes at adickes@nanoracks.com.
For continued updates, follow @NanoRacks on Twitter.

About NanoRacks

NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. NanoRacks’ main office is in Houston, Texas, right alongside the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Business Development office is in Washington, DC. Additional offices are located in Silicon Valley, California and Leiden, Netherlands.

In July 2015, NanoRacks signed a teaming agreement with Blue Origin to offer integration services on their New Shepard space vehicle. NanoRacks, along with partners at ULA and Space Systems Loral was also recently selected by NASA to participate in the NextSTEPs Phase II program to develop commercial habitation systems in low-Earth orbit and beyond.

As of June 2017, over 550 payloads have been launched to the International Space Station via NanoRacks services, and our customer base includes the European Space Agency (ESA) the German Space Agency (DLR,) the American space agency (NASA,) US Government Agencies, Planet Labs, Millennium Space Systems, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel.

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