OpNom: NanoRacks External PlatformFacility Summary
The NanoRacks External Platform represents the first external commercial research capability for the testing of scientific investigations, sensors, and electronic components in space. The NanoRacks External Platform is installed, on a payload required basis, on the outside of the International Space Station (ISS) on the Japanese Experiment Module – External Facility (JEM-EF) using NanoRacks, LLC’s proven integration/transportation system.Facility Manager(s)
NanoRacks, LLC, Houston, TX, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)ISS Expedition Duration
March 2014 - September 2014Expeditions Assigned
39/40Previous ISS Missions
The NanoRacks External Platform is a compact research platform fitted for versatile use on the exterior of the International Space Station (ISS). The NanoRacks External Platform delivers research results concerning biological testing, sensor target testing, satellite communications components testing, power systems testing, and materials testing. Delivered results include, but are not limited to, data and payload return. The facility is equipped with its own power supply to distribute power to experimental containers. An internal computer system monitors and controls the flow of power to the containers, receives commands from on-ground users, and communicates research data to those users. The NanoRacks External Platform provides a unique opportunity for automated experiments that require vacuum exposure. The NanoRacks External Platform supports a variety of research, including air, water, and surface monitoring, avionics, communications, imaging technology, microbial populations in spacecraft, microgravity environment measurement, radiation measurements and shielding, robotics, small satellites, space structures, spacecraft and orbital environments, spacecraft materials, and thermal management systems.Operations
Crewmember secures the NanoRacks External Platform) onto the JEM Experiment Airlock slide table while inside the ISS.
The airlock is then depressurized and the outer door opens and the NanoRacks External Platform slides out of the airlock into open space.
The NanoRacks External Platform is picked up via robotic arm to either be operated on the arm or moved to a location on the Japanese Experiment Module - Exposed Facility (JEM-EF).
Control of the experiment modules is by a NanoRacks External Platform internal computer, and data is returned to earth via downlink or via SD card.
At completion of the investigation, the payload is brought back to the inside of the Space Station, and prepared for transportation to earth or incineration upon reentry at mission end, depending on customer and Space Station requirements.
Information PendingResults Publications
Front view of the NanoRacks External Platform overall configuration. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.
Rear view of the NanoRacks External Platform overall configuration. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.
Bottom view of the NanoRacks External Platform overall configuration. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.
Overall configuration of the NanoRacks External Platform with nine standard payloads. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.