Nanoracks books CubeSat rideshare and habitat building demonstration in single SpaceX Falcon 9 launch
(18 November 2019 - Nanoracks) Nanoracks has booked a launch mission like no other, leveraging the recently announced SpaceX Rideshare program.
Onboard a Falcon 9, targeting launch in late 2020, Nanoracks has booked deployment of eight small satellites as well as the Company’s first in-space Outpost-demonstration mission.
Recently, Nanoracks announced the Company’s first in-space Outpost demonstration mission in a letter from CEO Jeffrey Manber. Nanoracks, in collaboration with Maxar, will be building and operating a self-contained hosted payload platform that will demonstrate the robotic cutting of second stage representative tank material on-orbit. This test will be the first of its kind to demonstrate the future ability to convert spent upper stages in orbit into commercial habitats – a long-term goal of Nanoracks.
On this SpaceX Falcon 9 mission, the Nanoracks Outpost demonstration will be hosted on an ESPA ring and be operated after all other secondary payloads have been deployed. This Outpost demonstration is funded via Nanoracks’ NextSTEP-2 contract with NASA.
“Structural metal cutting has never been done in space, and SpaceX is honored to help deliver a demonstration of this capability to orbit,” said Gwynne Shotwell, President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX. “It’s promising to see more companies like Nanoracks investing in new technologies to advance the exploration of the Moon and, ultimately, Mars.”
Notably, the secondary payloads on this SpaceX rideshare mission include eight of Spire’s LEMUR-2 CubeSats that were brokered by Nanoracks, bringing Nanoracks satellite deployment and mission management success to the forefront of the Expendable Launch Vehicle market.
“Nanoracks has been a long-valued partner for getting Spire’s satellites in orbit. Adding the Falcon 9 rideshare to the portfolio of options gives Spire yet another option for launch to LEO.” said Peter Platzer, CEO, Spire Global. “Their business creativity in pairing demo missions and CubeSat deployment from the same ESPA ring reflect their consistent commitment and support to the small satellite industry, while at the same time pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This enables Spire in our effort to continually increase the quality, frequency, and availability of our unique data.”
“It is beyond incredible,” said Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber, “that we are bringing our existing satellite deployment business and future in-space infrastructure vision together on a single SpaceX launch. This is the power of commercial and speaks loudly to the efforts of both NASA and industry to build a successful and competitive ecosystem in low-Earth orbit.”
“Rideshare missions require a significant amount of logistics and knowledge of the CubeSat mission management process,” says Nanoracks Director of Payloads, Conor Brown. “We’ve deployed over 250 satellites, and we know better than anyone how to build a successful mission that accommodates multiple customers on a single deployment cycle. Our team gets the job done with the customer always as our top priority. Also,” adds Brown, “we have availability to deploy additional satellites on this mission, so please contact us if interested.”
Nanoracks LLC, an XO Markets company, is the world’s first commercial space station company with an existing customer base. Nanoracks believes commercial space utilization will enable innovation through in-space manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, fiber optics – and more, allow for transformational Earth observation, and make space a key player in finding the solution to Earth’s problems.
Today, the company offers low-cost, high-quality solutions to the most pressing needs for satellite deployment, basic and educational research, and more –in over 30 nations worldwide. Since 2009, Texas-based Nanoracks has truly created new markets and ushered in a new era of in-space-services, dedicated to making space just another place to do business.
In 2017, the Company announced their long-term plans via the Nanoracks Space Outpost Program. This program is dedicated to the repurposing of the upper stages of launch vehicles in-space and converting these structures into commercial habitats, both humanly and robotically tended, throughout the solar system.
XO Markets, the world’s first commercial space holding company, includes Nanoracks, DreamUp, Nanoracks Space Outpost Europe, and Nanoracks UAE.