Nanoracks provides CubeSat and Smallsat launch services for payloads that require orbits higher than the International Space Station (ISS). Satellites are deployed from the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD), mounted directly onto Panel 5 of the Cygnus expendable cargo spacecraft which is placed in orbit by Northrop Grumman’s Antares Rocket.
Upon launch, Cygnus remains at the ISS for about 30 days, which is then released and raised to an orbit of 450-500km (50-100km higher than ISS). Once this maneuver is complete, the satellites are deployed at 51.6° inclination, before the Cygnus moves into a re-entry burn.
The NRCSD is a self-contained CubeSat deployer system that mechanically and electrically isolates CubeSats, and has been in operation since 2014. The NRCSD consists of anodized aluminum plates, base plate assembly, access panels, and deployer doors.
The NRCSD deployer doors are located on the forward end, the base plate assembly is located on the aft end, and access panels are provided on the top. The inside walls of the NRCSD are a smooth bore design to minimize and/or preclude hang-up or jamming of CubeSat appendages during deployment. Deployable systems shall be designed such that there is no intentional contact with the inside walls of the NRCSD.