Commercial satellite deployment from the International Space Station (ISS), offered by Nanoracks, has proven to be simpler, easier, faster, more secure and lower cost than regular Rideshare satellite launches. As of the end of 2020, Nanoracks has launched more than 200 satellites from the ISS, with manifests continuing to fill up for future missions.
Key benefits of deploying satellites from the ISS include highly reliable launches with flexible launch windows. Payloads enjoy soft stowed, pressurized, ambient temperature on launch with a very short turn around on re-flight.
1 – Satellite handover to Nanoracks for a soft ride to the ISS
2 – ISS crew transfer, unpack, inspect and stow satellites
3 – Satellites installed on Bishop, Kaber or CubeSat Deployer
4 – Satellites power-on checks and Airlock depressurization
5 – Robotic arm positions for orbit and satellites are deployed
ISS Satellite Launch Added Value – Not Just Another Rideshare. Download Nanoracks ISS Satellite Deployment Value Proposition.
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.
The Nanoracks Kaber MicroSat Deployer (Kaber) is a reusable system that provides command and control for MicroSat deployments from the International Space Station (ISS).
The Kaber Deployer promotes ISS utilization by enabling deployment into orbit for a class of payload developers normally relying on expendable launch vehicles for space access. MicroSatellites that are compatible with the Nanoracks Kaber Deployer have additional power, volume and communications resources enabling deployment missions in low-Earth orbit of greater scope and sophistication.
The Nanoracks Bishop Airlock provides several unique capabilities for deploying larger SmallSats from the ISS including the ability to accomodate various satellite sizes in a single sortie.
The Airlock is maneuvered and installed/removed by the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS). Astronauts prepare and install payloads and then ground control manages depressurization, EVR and deployment activities. Deployments are performed during an ISS orbital day pass to provide visual confirmation that the payload has properly deployed and ideal conditions for imagery.