The Institute for Space Science, Exploration and Technology and
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Edmonton Centre
Senior Mission Manager – NanoRacks, LLC
Launching Small Satellites to the International Space Station – An Industry Perspective
NanoRacks, a leader in commercial services on the International Space Station (ISS), has been deploying CubeSats from the ISS since 2012. It was not until February 2014, however, that the true impact of the ISS on the CubeSat market was realized. During this time, 33 CubeSats were deployed from the ISS via the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD). This was unprecedented and created the ability to regularly deploy constellations of CubeSats into Low Earth Orbit (LEO). To date, NanoRacks has deployed a total of 174 CubeSats from the ISS and 12 CubeSats from Orbital-ATK’s Cygnus resupply vehicle.
Since the first deployments via the NRCSD in 2014, NanoRacks has worked closely with NASA, JAXA, and Orbital-ATK to continue exploring options to increase the ISS Program’s capabilities for small satellite deployments. Whether it has been optimizing the JEM airlock to increase overall throughput, finding ways to deploy satellites at an altitude higher than the ISS, or developing infrastructure to deploy satellites in the 100kg class, NanoRacks has been a market leader in utilizing the ISS to enable the small satellite market.
The accompanying presentation will offer an industry perspective on the role of the ISS in the small satellite industry, analyzing the launch and deployment process and how it differs from traditional launch services. A particular focus will be placed on how the increasing demand and agility inherent to the small satellite community is helping drive the commercial utilization of the ISS. Payload integration highlights and mission examples demonstrating rapid innovation cycles will be displayed.