Kentucky Space released this information today. Contact information can be found at the end.
Kentucky Space (KS) announced today that it is a partner with NanoRacks LLC a Houston-based aerospace company that has just signed a Non-Reimbursable Space Act Agreement with NASA that provides a unique opportunity for NanoRacks to design, coordinate and conduct research on the International Space Station (ISS) for itself as well as on behalf of national educational and commercial clients.The NanoRacks Research System interfaces standard CubeSat type modules into the International Space Station (ISS) Express Racks. Our CubeLab ™ Platforms are small modules designed for use within a pressurized space station environment in orbit, with a nominal length, width, and height and a mass of 1 kg (extended CubeLabs™ are possible).
Up to 16 of NanoRacks CubeLab ™ modules can be inserted into a NanoRacks liner inside an Express Rack. Each plugs into a standard USB connector thus providing structural, electrical and data connectivity in one simple operation.
“Our business model seeks to encourage entry level space station research at affordable prices,” explained NanoRacks Managing Director Jeffrey Manber. “By adopting a known and widely used platform for industrial and educational space research, we expect to stimulate a new generation of space station users, just as Cubesats have done for microsatellites.” Adds Manber, “given advances in nanotechnology and minimization of electronics, the size and hence cost of ISS space research is no longer the impediment it was in the past.”
The NanoRacks venture includes Kentucky Space, a nonprofit enterprise which is recognized as a leader in entrepreneurial and educational space platforms. Kentucky Space brings the combined resources and capacity of the University of Kentucky, Morehead State University, University of Louisville, Western Kentucky University, Murray State University, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, The Kentucky Space Grant Consortium, and the managing partner Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation. Also a pioneering member of the team is the national engineering services firm Belcan.
The NanoRacks team also enjoys the expertise of CubeSat inventor Bob Twiggs and former head of the Stanford University Space and Systems Development Laboratory "Now experimenters and students can get thirty days of microgravity using proven hardware that is already known to the space and educational communities, explained Twiggs, who is now a visiting professor at Morehead State University. “All of us associated with NanoRacks take seriously this unique opportunity to bring a new kind of fast-paced innovation and low-cost to space station research" said Kris Kimel of Kentucky Space. “Through our university and other facilities we can offer seamless support for payload design, development and testing.”
NanoRacks expects to fly its platform to the ISS in mid 2010.
NanoRacks is a fast-paced enterprise focused on small entrepreneurial and educational space opportunities and markets. The company brings together entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers who have real-life experience and share a passion for entrepreneurial space including humanity’s utilization of low-earth orbit. Please visit: www.nanoracksllc.com.
For additional information or questions, please contact Kris Kimel, Kentucky Space at 859-229-6161 or Jeffrey Manber, NanoRacks at (815) 425-8553.