It continues to be an exciting summer here at Nanoracks! We have several innovative payloads that will be launching on the upcoming SpaceX CRS-25 (SpX-25) mission – some of which have been in the works for three years. These payloads are being sent as part of a resupply mission to the International Space Station (ISS) for scientific research and technology demonstrations that will be instrumental in furthering the advancement of space exploration.
We are so proud of the commitment and dedication from our customers who are now seeing their innovations come to life on board the SpX-25 mission. Ahead of the launch, we wanted to share the details of these payloads and what they are bringing to the ISS. Check it out!
Nanoracks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD #23)
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 system is deploying the following CubeSats this mission:
- BeaverCube is a 3U CubeSat from MIT demonstrating a small satellite propulsion system and obtaining climate and weather measurements with a small imager.
- CapSat-1 is a 1U CubeSat from a middle school in Florida, the Weiss School, validating the usage of capacitor technology as an alternative to lithium-ion batteries in space.
- CLICK A is a 3U CubeSat from NASA Ames, in partnership with Blue Canyon Technologies and MIT, demonstrating optical laser communications from space-to-ground and ground-to-space.
- D3 is a 2U CubeSat from Embry Riddle and the University of Florida. This CubeSat is developing and testing de-orbit devices to help control and expedite the de-orbit of future CubeSats.
- Jagsat is the FIRST Cubesat (2U) built by the University of South Alabama. JAGSAT will study plasma in our atmosphere.
Nanoracks’ educational sister company, DreamUp, has a mission to realize an educational community where space-based research and space-based projects will be available to all students. Nanoracks is one of their partners in bringing their vision to life and supporting education programs for space research and experimentation. The following payloads are part of this partnership:
- WORMS: In collaboration with the Student Payload Opportunity with Citizen Science (SPOCS) and NASA STEM on Station, DreamUp and Nanoracks worked with Arkansas State University to develop the Waxworm Organic Recycling Management System (WORMS) which aims to determine the ability and the rate at which larvae, commonly called waxworms, metabolize (breakdown the carbon bonds) polyethylene in a space environment compared to control colonies on Earth.
- BRIC: Another NASA STEM on Station payload, BRIC, was built by Stanford University and is building “bio-bricks” in space. These bricks are made by combining a protein mixture (bovine serum albumin) with regolith from Mars. The goal is to be able to build structures on other planets with sustainable materials.
The SpX-25 mission is also delivering FOP-2.0, a fiber optic production payload. The group behind this research, called Mercery, aims to bring fiber optic cable manufacturing to space at commercial volumes – and this is their second ISS experiment with Nanoracks. The last payload on board is Lagrange, a series of payloads developed by Lagrange Corporation to promote STEM fields in Japan and fly commemorative posters and seeds that are handed out to graduating students. This is the 7th mission in support of this effort.
We are also returning payloads that have been on orbit for a long time. These will splashdown with SpX-25 and be sent back to their customers after their long journey in space. This includes two payloads that are especially important to our customers in Israel:
- Space Hummus: An Israeli-led experiment launched on NG-17 back in February and has been growing chickpeas in space since then.
- COTS-CAPSULE: was launched way back in December on SpX-24 for Tel Aviv University. The payload has since been recording radiation data on the ISS as the ISS performed orbits around earth. The data was so clean and clear, the payload was actually able to locate the South Atlantic Anomaly.
We look forward to operating and deploying these innovative payloads all while expanding access to the space economy.