Nanoracks Proves Agility of Commercial Space through SpaceX-5 Launch


Webster, TX—January 13 2014 — NanoRacks successfully manifested payloads onto SpaceX-5 in record time: nine days. Historically, it takes months, years even, to successfully manifest a payload for delivery to the International Space Station. But that speed is too slow for the agile commercial space industry.

NanoRacks was able to manifest CubeSats under a nine day deadline, and Mixstix experiments in under one-month. That’s how little time there was to manifest payloads onto SpaceX-5 after the loss of Orb-3, and the company, working side by side with NASA and our customers, made it happen.

Featured on the SpaceX-5 launch are two CubeSats from Planet Labs. These CubeSats, referred to as the Doves “Flock-1D”, will continue to build the ever-growing fleet of Earth-observation satellites. Planet Labs lost 26 Doves on Orb-3 but the company was able to build, test, and deliver two more CubeSats to NanoRacks within 9 days.

In a recent blog post, Robbie Schingler, President and COO of Planet Labs commented: “Fortunately, there are consistent and frequent cargo missions going to service the ISS orbit; in fact, about 15% of global launch capacity serves the ISS. Therefore, within hours of the launch failure, we were working with NanoRacks, our launch platform partner for the ISS, to coordinate with NASA to get us re-manifested on a cargo mission as soon as possible.

Additionally, NanoRacks was able to re-fly 17 out of 18 Student Team Flight Experiments from the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program that were originally on Orb-3. These experiments, known as “Yankee Clipper II” represent 6,860 elementary through college students engaged in microgravity experiment design and were selected from 1,487 flight experiment proposals submitted from student teams. The students had less than one month to reconstruct their experiments to make the SpaceX-5 manifest deadline.

NanoRacks is also pleased to be hosting the last of seven payload winners from the Space Florida International Space Station Research Competition. The team comes from the Florida Institute of Technology and is led by Dr. Samuel Durrance, former astronaut and current professor of physics and space sciences. Dr. Durrance and his team are hoping to gain a new understanding of the development of Alzheimer’s disease with their experiment ‘Self-Assembly in Biology and the Origin of Life’ otherwise known as SABOL.

It has certainly been a busy few months for the NanoRacks team, and the results show just how hard we have all been working,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We’ve pushed the envelope for fastest payloads manifested and have shown that ISS can be part of the solution for commercial companies and organizations.” Added Manber, “We are thankful to everyone at the ISS Program Office and SpaceX for their continued support of the NanoRacks program on ISS.

Congratulations to SpaceX on yet another successful Commercial Resupply Launch, and we at NanoRacks look forward to the science results to come from payloads onboard SpaceX-5.

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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 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. The Company seeks to democratize outer space utilization by owning and marketing its own family of research equipment and by providing low-cost, high quality services in low-earth orbit and beyond.

To date over 200 payloads have been deployed by the Company on the International Space Station 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, Urthecast, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel. Our customer base has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low-earth orbit utilization.

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