Cygnus Deployment

The Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer (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.

Payload Volume36U total
Form Factor1U-6U linear
Altitude465-500 km
Inclination51°
Deployment Timeframe3-4 months post-launch
Nominal TurnoverL-35 days
Mission Lifetime18-30 Months
Deployment Velocity1.2 m/s
Mission CustomizationAvailable by request

External Cygnus Deployment

Satellites are integrated into the Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer, and the deployer is then mounted directly to Panel 5 of the Cygnus spacecraft by the teams at Nanoracks and Northrop Grumman at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Upon launch, Cygnus generally remains at the International Space Station for about 30 days, which it is then released from the Space Station, and raised to an orbit of 450-500 km (50-100 km higher than ISS). Once this maneuver is complete, the satellites are deployed before the Cygnus moves into a re-entry burn.

Maximum Mass:

  • 1U maximum mass: 2.4 kg
  • 3U maximum mass: 4.8 kg
  • 6U maximum mass: 8.4 kg

Non-standard Accommodations:

  • Electric or water propulsion
  • Large deployable or sub-deployable systems
  • Pressure vessels or pressurized liquid/gas systems