by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (SPX) Nov 05, 2013
Spaceflight and NanoRacks have formally announced a partnership to provide commercial launch services from the International Space Station (ISS).
Commenting on the partnership, Curt Blake, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Spaceflight, said, "We are very excited to work with NanoRacks and leverage the unique capabilities of the International Space Station. The partnership is a great fit between two like-minded organizations that will help usher in a new chapter for low earth orbit satellite deployment."
Under this partnership Spaceflight and NanoRacks are collaborating to provide customers routine commercial launch services from the ISS. Each customer spacecraft will be deployed from the ISS via the Japanese Experiment Module airlock utilizing NanoRacks' Cubesat Deployers. NanoRacks operates via its Space Act Agreement with NASA.
Founded in 2010, Spaceflight is a leading provider of commercial launch services for small and secondary payloads. To date Spaceflight has launched five spacecraft including the Planet Labs Dove-1 and Dove-2 spacecraft, as well as three PhoneSats for NASA Ames Research Center. Spaceflight has over 36 spacecraft under contract for launch scheduled between 2013 and 2017.
Founded in 2009, NanoRacks is the market leader in commercializing operations on the International Space Station (ISS) via its own hardware, from internal research equipment to CubeSat Deployers to the External Platform Program outside the Space Station.
"We are pleased to have Spaceflight as our key sales partner for space station satellite deployment services," said NanoRacks CEO Jeff Manber. "It is a partnership that is already proving its worth in terms of addressing unique markets, segments, and customers. We believe that ISS has become the go-to platform for small satellite deployment not just today but in the years to come."
Each customer and spacecraft set for launch and deployment through this joint partnership has a unique mission, some as a technology demonstration, others performing commercial tasks. The initial customers include:
+ MIT- Micromas- 3U CubeSat - Weather observation technology demonstration
+ Southern Stars- SkyCube - 1U CubeSat- Crowdfunded amateur radio
+ Universidad Alas Peruanas - UAPSAT- 1U CubeSat- Student and faculty developed spacecraft
+ Planet Labs- Flock 1 -Earth observation satellite constellation
Mission management has been a joint effort between Spaceflight, Nanoracks, and each satellite payload provider. The CubeSats will be delivered to and deployed from ISS in late 2013 and through the middle of 2014.
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