NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 (NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3) - 01.18.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Planetary Resources Development Corpation is a private company developing a space telescope system that studies asteroids, with the goal of locating an asteroid that can be mined for raw materials. NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 is a small satellite (CubeSat) demonstrating technologies that will be used in the future Arkyd space telescope fleet, including avionics, attitude control, and power systems. The CubeSat launches from the International Space Station and transmits data to Earth stations, transferring telemetry and other information.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Chris Voorhees, B.S., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer

Principal Investigator(s)
Chris Voorhees, B.S., Planetary Resources, Redmond, WA, United States

Information Pending

Planetary Resources, Redmond, WA, United States
NanoRacks, LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Space Exploration, Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - September 2015

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • Planetary Resources is developing innovative deep space robotic exploration technologies for the purpose of identifying and extracting resources from near-Earth asteroids.
  • Resource extraction from asteroids provides a sustainable supply of raw materials for the further exploration of space.
  • The NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 CubeSat is a demonstration of the core technologies necessary for cost-effective commercial deep-space missions to prospect resources on near-Earth asteroids or perform other investigations in the inner Solar System.

NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 is a demonstration of core Arkyd spacecraft elements developed internally at Planetary Resources Development Corporation (PRDC), including avionics, attitude determination and control, and power and energy management. A series of experimental tests and operations of the CubeSat consist of communication to PRDC and independent Earth stations, including command uplink, telemetry and payload data downlink, and software updates. Performance information from the NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 mission will inform the development of future Arkyd series spacecraft leading towards asteroid prospecting and resource extraction.

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Space Applications
Extracting raw materials from asteroids will enable spacefaring people to obtain water, fuel and other resources, expanding humanity’s capability to reach targets beyond the moon and low Earth orbit. Results from the NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 investigation inform the development of future Arkyd series spacecraft, ultimately building toward a fleet of spacecraft prospecting for materials on asteroids and extracting them for human use.

Earth Applications
Asteroids contain a wealth of rare metals and other materials that are important for developing modern technology, yet are in finite supply on Earth. Future Arkyd space telescopes will study asteroids in great detail, determining possible targets for future exploration and mining of raw materials, benefiting people on Earth.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols

Not applicable.

NanoRacks CubeSats are delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) already integrated within a NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD). A crew member transfers the CubeSats from the launch vehicle to the JEM. Visual inspection for damage to the NRCSD unit is performed. When CubeSat operations begin, the NRCSDs are unpacked, mounted on the JAXA Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) and placed on the JEM airlock slide table for transfer outside the ISS. A crew member operates the JEM Remote Manipulating System (RMS) - grapple and position for deployment and CubeSats are deployed when JAXA ground controllers command a specific NRCSD.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites
Planetary Resources

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The NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 spacecraft in on-orbit deployed configuration. Image courtesy of Planetary Resources.

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The NanoRacks-Planetary Resources-Arkyd-3 spacecraft in stowed configuration. Image courtesy of Planetary Resources.

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