NanoRacks Platforms (NanoRacks Platforms) - 09.26.18

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
NanoRacks Platforms is a multipurpose research facility on board the International Space Station (ISS). NanoRacks Platforms supports NanoRacks Modules in the CubeSat form factor by providing power and data transfer capabilities to operate investigations in microgravity.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

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

OpNom: NanoRacks-Platform-1,2,3

Facility Manager(s)
Jeffrey Manber, NanoRacks LLC, Webster, TX, United States

Facility Representative(s)
Information Pending

Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology, Lowell, MA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2010 - March 2016; March 2016 - April 2019; -

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
ISS Expeditions 23/24 is the first mission for the NanoRacks Cube-Lab Platform.

Information Pending

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Facility Description

Facility Overview

  • NanoRacks Platforms provide power and data transfer capabilities for NanoRacks Modules.
  • The NanoRacks Modules function as an experiment platform, are provided in multiple sizes and can plug into the NanoRacks Platform facilities for power and data transfer, or operate separately.
NanoRacks Platforms is a multipurpose research facility providing power and data transfer capability to the NanoRacks Modules. Each NanoRacks Platform is approximately 17 x 9 x 20 inches and weighs approximately 12 lbs. NanoRacks Platforms are designed for use within the pressurized space station environment. Each platform provides room for up to 16 payloads in the CubeSat form factor to plug effortlessly into a standard USB connector, which provides both power and data connectivity. Its plug and play system uses a simple, standardized interface that reduces payload integration cost and schedule for nanoscale research in microgravity.

Onboard the International Space Station (ISS), NanoRacks Platforms are installed in EXPRESS Rack inserts to supply power and USB data transfer capability for NanoRacks Modules. Each NanoRacks Module must conform to a standard size of approximately 4 x 4 x 4 inches and weigh 2.2 lbs. Every NanoRacks Module has a different educational or industrial researcher, the experiments supported cover a wide range of disciplines, some NanoRacks Modules serve as sorties. An ISS crewmember powers down the NanoRacks Platform and then plugs in the resupplied NanoRacks Modules. The NanoRacks Platform is powered up, and the data cable between the associated USB port on the NanoRacks Platform front panel and an EXPRESS Laptop computer is plugged in to collect data and download at designated times.

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Facility Operations

  • A fully integrated NanoRacks Platform is housed in a single locker in the ISS EXPRESS Rack.

  • Crew interaction with the NanoRack Platform is limited to transferring the NanoRacks locker Insert to the ISS, installation and activation of the NanoRacks Platform into the EXPRESS Rack Locker, cleaning of the air inlet filter, as necessary, and data retrieval, as needed during the mission.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

NASA mandated effective utilization became a high priority upon completion of the ISS. To facilitate this request, engineers developed the NanoRacks Platform to provide a straightforward method for utilization of the ISS. In addition to the NanoRacks Platform, the CubeLab (now known as the NanoLab) Standard was also placed into effect to define form-factor, mechanical and electrical interfaces, and data transfer protocols for a class of small payloads. Together, the NanoRacks Platform and the CubeLab (NanoLab) Standard provide regular, fast turn-around access, a reasonable cost, and access to an array of launch vehicles with reduced ITAR concerns by operating under Space Act Agreements with NASA (Lumpp et al 2011).

Results Publications

    Lumpp Jr. JE, Erb DM, Clements TS, Rexroat JT, Johnson MD.  The CubeLab Standard for Improved Access to the International Space Station. 2011 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT; 2011 March 1-6.

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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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NanoRacks Platforms and the first two NanoRacks Modules just prior to being stowed on the Space Shuttle Discovery for the April 2010 launch to the ISS. Image courtesy of NanoRacks, LLC.

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