CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA- JUNE 5, 2021- Earlier today, the SpaceX CRS-22 Dragon Spacecraft docked with the International Space Station (ISS), carrying five diverse Nanoracks payloads, including two CubeSats and three microgravity experiments. The Dragon arrived at the ISS after launching from Kennedy Space Center on June 3, 2021 at 17:29 UTC.
This launch is Nanoracks’ seventeenth mission providing research opportunities via Mixstix, Nanolabs, and CubeSats on a SpaceX launch. The CubeSats onboard this mission includes RamSat, which was built by students from Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and SOAR, a technology demonstration designed by the University of Manchester and University College London.
The RamSat CubeSat will use multispectral and near-infrared cameras to examine the impacts of large-scale disturbances (e.g., forest fires) on forests. RamSat was selected for launch by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) as part of the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites-36 (ELaNa-36) mission complement, sponsored by the NASA Launch Services Program (LSP).
The SOAR CubeSat contains two payloads: an aerodynamics characterization payload developed at The University of Manchester, and an Ion-Neutral Mass Spectrometer (INMS) developed at the University College London (UCL) Mullard Space Science Laboratory.
Students from UAE University working in collaboration with DreamUp, Nanoracks’ educational sister company, are sending SmoothISS, a payload containing a camel milk-based smoothie to space. This project is part of the Tests in Orbit competition, made possible by DreamUp, Higher Colleges of Technology, Nanoracks, and the UAE Space Agency (UAESA). This competition provides university student teams the opportunity to develop microgravity experiments. These students state that, “providing an appropriate selection of culturally-adapted, enjoyable, tasty, safe, and nutritious food is a priority to maintain astronaut health and ensure successful missions.”
DreamUp students from iLEAD Schools also developed two Mixstix experiments: “What is the effect of microgravity on Dracus carota (carrot seeds),” designed by a team of 5th through 9th graders, and “What is the effect of microgravity on Vigna radiata (Mung Beans),” developed by a team of 5th through 7th graders. These two experiments both aim to investigate possible nutritious food sources that can support astronauts on long-duration missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.
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, will allow for revolutionary Earth observation, and will 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. Nanoracks has recently joined the Voyager Space Holdings family of companies.