Nanoracks Sending New Customer Payloads to ISS Aboard NG-18 Mission to Test Microgravity Experiments


The Cygnus NG-18 launch is on the horizon and we are excited to announce that Nanoracks will be launching several customer payloads aboard Northrup Grumman’s commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Similar to our previous launches, these payloads will be used for scientific research and technology demonstrations that will be instrumental in furthering the advancement of space exploration.

The upcoming NG-18 mission marks a significant milestone for Nanoracks and its customers who are sending exceptional pieces of technology and hardware into space to benefit the future of humanity. We are excited to see how these payloads perform once launched, but in the meantime we’ve got a full breakdown of each of them below.

  • Nanoracks-IAEA: Planned and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, this study will analyze the effects of cosmic radiation and microgravity on inducing structural changes in plant genomes and consequently on induced genetic variations useful for plant breeding towards crop improvement and crop adaptation to climate change. By improving understanding of how radiation in space affects the biology and genetics of plants, this investigation may support developing crops suitable for this environment. Seeds of two plant species will be held inside the space station in MixStix hardware, and hosted externally on the space station on the Nanoracks External Platform (NREP), for months on the ISS.
  • OVOSPACE: In collaboration with Sapienza University and the Aerospace Laboratory for Innovation (ALI), this investigation will study how the microgravity environment can impair ovary function and the physiological development of living beings. Given the objectives of human colonization of the Moon (as such recognized by the Artemis program), this task assumes a critical health factor for planning future programs of human settlement in space.
  • SphereCam-1: The Madison Square Garden (MSG) Sphere Studios team is sending the highest resolution camera system ever to fly on the ISS to establish critical baseline knowledge for its performance in microgravity conditions and the harsh environment of space. The camera will be deployed for approximately 60 days, and data and imagery gathered will help further shape plans for an ultra-high fidelity, ultra-high-resolution camera system being developed for MSG Sphere. Nanoracks is helping to certify and facilitate operations to test MSG Sphere’s capture technology.
  • FOP 2.0 Additional Spools and Preforms: A follow up to the Fiber Optic Production (FOP) 2.0 launch on the SpX-25 mission this past summer, this launch on NG-18 is for Mercury Systems to send up more preforms and spools in order to do more sample runs while their hardware is still on the ISS. The hardware manufactures fiber optic cables on the ISS and operates within the Microgravity Science Glovebox.
  • ISSET-Nanoracks-Mission Discovery 4: This study is comprised of the winners of the program Mission Discovery, organized by the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET) in collaboration with international partners, including King’s College London (United Kingdom [UK]), the University of the West of Scotland (UK), Young Edsplorer (Asia) and Latitude Group Travel (Australia). It will include microgravity experiments on degradation of plastic by wax worms, antibacterial properties of fly larvae extract and bee venom, amylase digestion of food, flatworm regeneration, degradation of vitamin C and reproduction of yeast. These experiments help address issues important for future space exploration.


With each new mission comes even more exciting future applications to address issues both in space and on Earth. Congratulations to each of our customers for achieving this next step in their journey – we can’t wait to see what they will accomplish next!

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