NanoRacks External Platform (NanoRacks External Platform) - 07.12.17

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
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.
Science Results for Everyone Initiation of this facility has been affected by the loss of the Orbital-3 launch vehicle and mission in October 2014.

The following content was provided by Michael D. Johnson, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: NanoRacks External Platform

Facility Manager(s)
Michael D. Johnson, NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Rob Alexander, NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Developer(s)
NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016; March 2016 - April 2017

Expeditions Assigned
43/44,45/46,47/48,49/50

Previous Missions
Information Pending

Availability
Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview
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.

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Operations

Facility Operations

  • Crew member 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.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

Results Publications

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites

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Imagery

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NASA Image: ISS048E049168 - Assembled NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) on the Platform Cover attached to JPM1A5 in the Kibo Japanese Experiment Pressurized Module (JPM).

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NASA Image: ISS051E028168 - NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer move a new payload on to the NanoRacks External Platform to prepare for deployment via an airlock in the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station.

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NASA Image: ISS048E049218 - Documentation of the NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) installed on the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) Airlock (JEMAL) Slide Table (retracted into the JEMAL). Image was taken in the Kibo Japanese Experiment Pressurized Module (JPM).

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NASA Image: ISS048E049789 - NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) grappled by the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) during operations to transfer the NREP to the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) Exposed Facility (JEF). The NREP contains the NanoRacks-Gumstix and NanoRacks NanoTube Solar Cell payloads.

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image NASA Image: ISS048E049803 - The Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) moves to install the NanoRacks External Platform (NREP) on the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) Exposed Facility (JEF). The NREP contains the NanoRacks-Gumstix and NanoRacks NanoTube Solar Cell payloads.
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NASA Image: ISS048E050816 - The NanoRacks External Platform (NREP), containing the NanoRacks-Gumstix and NanoRacks NanoTube Solar Cell payloads, installed on the JEM (Japanese Experiment Module) Exposed Facility (JEF).

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Overall configuration of the NanoRacks External Platform with nine standard payloads. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.


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Bottom view of the NanoRacks External Platform overall configuration.  Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.


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Front view of the NanoRacks External Platform overall configuration. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.

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Rear view of the NanoRacks External Platform overall configuration. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.

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