Opportunity for NASA Funding for NR Hardware Utilization


NASA Research Announcement Soliciting Proposals for Research Opportunities in Space Biology. Step-1 Proposals Due: October 31, 2012, 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Savings Time Step-2 Proposals Due: December 19, 2012, 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time.

NanoRacks Facilities

NanoRacks provides microgravity research facilities aboard ISS allowing small standardized payloads to be plugged into any of the NanaRack platforms, providing interface with the International Space Station power and data capabilities. The Nanoracks U.S. National Lab facilities provide turnkey opportunities experiments and currently includes two NanoLab Platforms, NanoRacks Plate Reader, NanoRacks Microscope and NanoRacks Mixstix, providing repeatable microgravity research opportunities onboard the ISS.

A passive centrifuge facility will also be available and may be used to provide variable-gravity environments for a variety of research applications. The facilities are described briefly below with links to the NanoRacks website for more information.

Overview of NanoRacks Laboratory inside International Space Station

  • Three research platforms in CubeSat form factor with USB standard interface
  • Two microscopes
  • Centrifuge (With Astrium NA)
  • Plate Reader allowing sophisticated on-orbit analysis
  • Hardware for biological research
  • Data returns to customer
  • Power Available
  • Return of payloads possible

NanoRacks Platforms

Two NanoRacks Platforms are now permanently housed on the ISS U.S. National Lab, allowing for 32 payload slots of NanoRacks research modules, known as Nanolabs (1U = 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches) or any combination, such as 2U or 3U x 8U and so on. Everything necessary for a mission is taken care of by the NanoRacks team. Through NanoRacks partners and via their own facilities, NanoRacks offers complete in-house capabilities for payload integration, payload design and development and interfacing with NASA and foreign space agencies. Read more about NanoRacks NanoLab Platforms.

NanoRacks Optical Microscopes

NanoRacks optical microscopes allow on-the-ground researchers to undertake in-situ microgravity analysis. The USB Microscope plugs into any ISS laptop allowing crewmembers to adjust the position of the samples on the slide and focus the microscope as well as choose the magnification from the 5X, 10X or 20X objectives. When the desired images are captured, the crewmember will copy them from the USB Video Device to the destination file for later downlink to your team on the ground. Read more about NanoRacks Optical Microscope.

NanoRacks Plate Reader

The NanoRacks’ MD Plate Reader-1 holds 96 samples allowing veteran space researchers and those new to space to perform the same state of the art analysis now done in laboratories on the Earth. The Plate Reader is derived from an off the shelf Molecular Devices M5E Plate Reader. Read more about NanoRacks Plate Reader.

NanoRacks Centrifuge

The NanoRacks Centrifuge was developed in collaboration with Astrium. It is a passive facility that is maintained in the ISS cabin and has no independent temperature, humidity or atmospheric NRA NNH12ZTT001N: Research Opportunities In Space Biology 74 control. The facility can hold up to 6 ESA Type 1 containers (each one measuring 20 mm x 40 mm x 80 mm).

Hardware for biological research is available for Nanoracks research. ESA Type I Experiment containers are available for supporting plant growth, small aquatic organisms and drosophila. A variety of modified Type I containers and the centrifuge system are shown in the image below.

Read more about NanoRacks Centrifuge or download the NASA Release here.

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