Houston, TX – August 16, 2017 – SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday after their twelfth commercial resupply (CRS) mission launched from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The CRS-12 Dragon carried 32 of NanoRacks’ customer payloads to the ISS.
Notably on this mission was the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and Adcole-Maryland Aerospace’s Kestrel Eye IIM (KE2M) satellite. This satellite is a technology demonstration seeking to validate the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations. The overall goal is to demonstrate that small satellites are viable platforms for proving critical path support to operations and hosting advanced payloads.
KE2M is the second flagship satellite in NanoRacks’ Kaber Deployment Program. NanoRacks Kaber Deployment Program allows for a larger EXPRESS class of satellites to be deployed from the International Space Station, up to 100 kilograms. NanoRacks deploys these Kaber-class satellites currently through the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock, and will shift deployments to the NanoRacks Airlock Module when the Company’s commercial Airlock becomes operational (planned for 2019).
On this mission are also three satellites that were selected for flight by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) as part of the twenty second installment of the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa) missions, and sponsored by the NASA Launch Services Program (LSP). These include NASA Jet Propulsion Lab’s (JPL) ASTERIA, Goddard Spaceflight Center’s DELLINGR, and Pennsylvania State University’s OSIRIS-3U. These CubeSats have a target deployment for mid-November.
Additionally, NanoRacks brought 28 DreamUp student experiments to the ISS, which includes the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 11 (21 Mixstix), Israel’s Ramon Foundation (5 Mixstix), Cuberider-1, and the Boy Scouts of America (both NanoLab projects).
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) project, sponsored by the Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), is the first-ever experiment in space by BSA. The scouts of Troop 209, a part of the Pathway to Adventure Council based in Chicago, are seeking to better understand how bacteria functions in space, and why virulence patterns in space differ from those on Earth.
With the completion of the CRS-12 launch, NanoRacks has now brought over 580 payloads to the International Space Station since 2009.
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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 August 2017, over 580 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.