Product/Service - NanoLab, Bishop
- ISS Utilization Service
Microgravity Flight Service (LEO)
Commercial ISS Airlock
Microgravity Research Payloads
- Commercial ISS Module
- First launch
Core payload hardware is the NanoLab, a powerful box in the CubeSat form factor, measuring 10 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm. Every NanoLab has a circuit board that activates the experiment, turns it off and can be functioned for other activities. Customers have also deployed video cameras and a wide range of sensors inside NanoLabs.
Nanolabs are at the core of our philosophy: low-cost, open-sourced, standardized, miniaturized hardware that allows you, the customer, to focus more on the research rather than re-inventing the hardware ‘wheel” each time.
After being launched to the International Space Station (ISS), Nanolabs can be used for everything from building plant-growth chambers, studying DNA and radiation exposure, biology and biotechnology testing, materials and physical sciences, and more.
Remotely Commanded In-space Research Platform
We love working with the crew onboard the International Space Station (ISS) – but sometimes researchers want to use materials, chemicals, or biological agents that NASA deems just a bit too risky for the astronauts for manoeuvre themselves. So that’s why we built BlackBox!
BlackBox is a remotely commanded platform that has research fully integrated on the ground and completely contained from the astronaut crew. All the astronauts have to do is plug the entire locker-sized platform in on-orbit for power and data. BlackBox allows for multiple experiments to occur simultaneously.
PLATE READER & REACTOR MICROPLATES
In-space Chemistry and Life Science Research Hardware
Nanoracks’ Plate-Reader-2 (2nd generation) is a reconfigured Molecular Devices SpectraMax M5e – one of the most reliable, durable, feature-rich microplate readers on the market.
Plate Reader-2 features a wide range of high-performance multi-mode reader capabilities ideal for life science research on the International Space Station (ISS) including absorbance, fluorescence, time-resolved fluorescence, and fluorescence polarization modes with full spectral range detection.
What Will You Cook Up in Space?
The Zero G Kitchen Oven is the first-ever oven in space! Before the Zero G Oven, no food item had ever been cooked from the raw in space. The oven is a cylindrical-shaped insulated container designed to hold and bake sealed food samples in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station (ISS).
The oven allows food samples to be placed in a tray where they will be held steady inside the oven while baking occurs. A cooling rack is also integrated into the outside of the oven. The insulation and venting mechanisms allow the oven to operate safely in the controlled environment of the ISS.
Mixture Enclosure Tubes for Chemical and Biological Research
Nanoracks’ Mixstix are mixture enclosure tubes for fluids, materials, chemicals and biological substances – all kept separate until they are ready to be mixed in space. Single, double, or triple experiment sample segments are available.
The International Space Station (ISS) crew release the block on the chambers and shakes the tube to mix the materials. All Mixstix are 10 ml parylene coated silicon tubes. Mixstix can be stowed cold (+4°C), or ambient on launch, berth, pre/post operations, and on payload return to Earth.
Airlock Module (Bishop)
Nanoracks Bishop Airlock is the first permanent, commercial addition to the International Space Station (ISS) infrastructure. The Bishop Airlock offers 5x the current volume that can be moved in and out of the Space Station today.
Built and operated by Nanoracks, Bishop enables commercial utilization of the ISS to its fullest extent. Bishop’s unique bell-jar design allows this airlock to function in a multitude of ways, expanding the services we provide our customers every day in space. Bishop was designed to function today on the ISS, and tomorrow, detached and moved onto a Nanoracks Outpost.
Product/Service - Starlab, Outpost
- Space Stations & Habitats
- Commercial Space Station
- First launch
Space Station (Starlab)
Nanoracks commercial low-Earth orbit destination, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, is called “Starlab.”
Starlab is planned to be the first continuously crewed, free-flying commercial space station. Leveraging innovative – yet known – technologies, Starlab will be a new-era global space platform dedicated to conducting advanced research, fostering industrial activity, and innovating in ways once only imagined.
Nanoracks’ commercial low-Earth orbit destination, in collaboration with Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin, is called “Starlab.” Starlab is targeted for launch in 2027 on a single flight as a continuously crewed, commercial space station dedicated to conducting advanced research, fostering commercial industrial activity, and ensuring continued U.S. presence and leadership in low-Earth orbit. Starlab is designed for four astronauts and will have power, volume, and a payload capability equivalent to the International Space Station.
Starlab will host the George Washington Carver Science Park featuring four main operational departments – a biology lab, plant habitation lab, physical science and materials research lab, and an open workbench area – to meet the needs of researchers and commercial customers for commercial space activities. The station will be built with flexible growth in mind, featuring interfaces both internal and external to the spacecraft to allow Nanoracks to expand the architecture as new demand sources are identified, and new markets emerge.
Commercial Platforms in Orbit
The future of in-space infrastructure has arrived. Leveraging 10+ years of providing commercial in-space services, the Outpost program will transform used launch vehicle upper stages into controllable platforms across multiple orbits.
Imagine a future where Nanoracks-built hardware allows the empty fuel tank of any rocket to come back to life after its primary mission, but this time as a facility for robotic manufacturing, satellite servicing, a greenhouse, and more. Outposts are pillars of infrastructure-as-a-service in space, democratizing access while prioritizing orbital sustainability – what would otherwise become a discarded hunk of metal will live on as a versatile platform.
Each Outpost is brought to life by Nanoracks’ Mission Extension Kit (MEK), a hardware solution that provides power, pointing, data-handling, and communications for the Outpost. The MEK becomes the brains and heartbeat of the now-repurposed upper stage.
Product/Service - Outpost Mars Demo-1
- In-Space Manufacturing
- In-Space Manufacturing
- Large Space Structures
- First launch
Nanoracks just made space construction and manufacturing history with the first demonstration of cutting metal in orbit.
Outpost Mars Demo-1
Voyager and Nanoracks are excited to announce that our first Outpost demonstration mission (Outpost Mars Demo-1) is expected to launch this month aboard SpaceX’s Transporter 5 rideshare flight. This mission is part of our Outpost Program, which is focused on transforming used launch vehicle upper stages into uncrewed, controllable platforms. Nanoracks designed a self-contained hosted payload platform to demonstrate on-orbit, debris-free, robotic metal cutting.
- Our partner in this demonstration, Maxar Technologies, developed a new robotic arm with a friction milling end-effector. Friction milling uses a cutting tool operating at high rotations per minute to melt the metal in such a way that a cut is made, and no debris is generated. Maxar’s robotic cutter is equipped with thermal sensors and cameras, and once in space,
- Nanoracks and Maxar will have up to one hour to complete the cutting of three metal pieces, made of corrosion resistant steel (the same material that is used on the outer shell of ULA’s Vulcan Centaur) without creating any debris in the process. The demonstration itself will occur about 9 minutes into flight and will be finished approximately 10 minutes later. The rest of the time the team will downlink the photos and video to the ground stations until the vehicle and hosted payloads de-orbit over the Pacific.
Maritime Launch Services and Houston-based Nanoracks have signed an agreement to work on repurposing the upper stages of MLS's rockets — the parts of the vehicle that contained fuel and are released as it climbs into orbit. The company plans to use Cyclone 4M rockets, designed by Ukrainian company Yuzhnoye and manufactured by Yuzhmash.
Nanoracks made space construction and manufacturing history with the first demonstration of cutting metal in orbit. The technique could be critical for the next generation of large-scale space stations and even lunar habitats.
- The experiment was performed back in May by Nanoracks and its parent company Voyager Space, after getting to orbit aboard the SpaceX Transporter 5 launch. The company only recently released additional details on Friday.
- The goal of Outpost Mars Demo-1 mission was to cut a piece of corrosion-resistant metal, similar to the outer shell of United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan Centaur and common in space debris, using a technique called friction milling.
- It was conducted in partnership with Maxar Technologies, who developed the robotic arm that executed the cut. That arm used a commercially available friction milling end effector, and the entire structure was contained in the Outpost spacecraft to ensure that no debris escaped. Indeed, one of the main goals of the demonstration was to produce no debris — and it worked.
- Using a technique called friction milling, the robotic arm used a commercial cutting tool at a high speed to soften the metal while cutting it and reducing debris. The enclosure that held the robotic arm and metal samples was on a Nanoracks circuit.
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