Your Alternative to a Dedicated Satellite Mission

Nanoracks Bishop Airlock is the first-ever permanent, commercial addition to the International Space Station (ISS) and expands on our existing external payload hosting capabilities by offering 6 sites that accommodates larger payloads and provides an array of pointing options.

Hosting payloads on Bishop is an ideal alternative to satellite development and launch, allowing for rapid in space evaluation of concepts and technology prior to adoption into a larger operational program. Hosting on Bishop allows the researchers and companies to focus on collecting the data, sensor, or mission most important to them. Key benefits include reducing overall programmatic costs and risk as well as reducing complexity by providing power and data transfer as standard services.

Want your hardware hosted on Bishop?

How it Works

Bishop hosting

1 – Payload handover to Nanoracks for a soft ride to the ISS

2 – ISS crew prepare and install payloads into Bishop Airlock

3 – Payload power-on checks and Airlock depressurized

4 – Robotic arm manoeuvers Airlock and positions payloads

5 – Airlock repressurized and payloads retrieved by ISS crew

Why Nanoracks

Faster Missions 

Host directly in the space environment, collect data, reduce risks and get to an operation program faster and cheaper.

Flexible Launch Windows

Choose between 4-5 launch windows per year and shift this at little to no cost, all the way up to L-110 days.

Highly Reliable Launches

Proven launch systems with well-defined schedules and less chance of launch delays.

Soft Stowed Launches

Payloads launched in bubble wrap or custom foam packaging inside standard Cargo Transfer Bags (CTBs) in the pressurized capsule. Reducing exposure to shock and vibration as a traditional rideshare mission.

Last Minute Preparation

ISS crew can perform assembly, removing covers and packaging on sensitive instruments and supporting efforts to solve last-minute issues that may arise.

On Orbit Check-out

Ability to bring the payload back inside the ISS to work on it and swap/change components to expand mission spectrum.

Payload Return

Opportunity to do on the ground post-mission analysis of the effects of the space environment on hardware, including failure analysis.

Quick Re-flight Turn-around

Opportunity to manifest failed missions for launch within 6 months. Insurance programs offered for re-flight of identical satellite in the event of failure.

High-quality Video Streams

Airlock operations are streamed in real-time in high-quality – not only for ensuring mission success but for customers that want to throw a launch party for their team and other stakeholders.

Bishop Hosting Features

LocationMovable on SSRMS (CanadaArm)
Payload Sites6 external slots available
Payload Envelope24" x 24" x 28" (500 lbs/227 kg)
PointingRam, Wake, Zenith, Nadir & more
Mission Lifetime15 weeks (nominal), extension available
Power120 VDC; 350 watts nominal
Data100 Mb/sec to Bishop avionics
Nominal TurnoverL-3 Months
Mission CustomizationAvailable by request

Power: 120 VDC; 350 watts (nominal)

  • Maximum 700 watts but must coordinated with Nanoracks as total Airlock payload power available is 2.6 kW berthed and 1.8kW un-berthed – This is a shared resource so payload usage will be managed by Nanoracks.

Data: Ethernet protocol (nominal)

  • 100 Mb/sec to Airlock avionics
  • Data rate from Airlock to ISS: 100 Mb/sec berthed (hardwired to Node 3); 10 Mb/sec un-berthed (WIFI)
  • Data rate to ground to be negotiated with NASA
  • Data storage capability within Airlock avionics

Redundant power and data interfaces

  • Redundant fiber optics and coaxial connections also available and terminated inside of Airlock pressure shell.

More information

Read more about Bishop, download the Bishop Airlock IDD or get in touch for further information about Bishop Hosted Payloads or Bishop Satellite Deployments.

Bishop module hosted payloads
Nanoracks Bishop Airlock Above The Earth