Taking a look at the business prospects for sub-orbital research payloads, the Space Business Blog noticed the work being done by NanoRacks and Kentucky Space to make microgravity research on the International Space Station an affordable and repeatable proposition. It likes, in particular, the modular nature of the solution and points out one very important benefit of using Cubelabs:
NanoRacks has developed a standard rack that plugs into a [mid deck locker] on station. NanoRacks worked with Bob Twiggs (co-creater of the CubeSat) from Kentucky Aerospace to build a standard experiment module called the CubeLab. Still 10cm-cubed, and plugs into their rack via a standard USB port. Very plug-and play! I like this. NanoRacks and Kentucky Space intend to offer this CubeLab technology as open-source for the benefit of the industry. One important nugget: the CubeSat has already passed significant ITAR hurdles, and since the CubeLab is based on similar technology to the CubeSat, a business using this open-source technology should have a significantly easier time attracting and working with international customers. NanoRacks goal is to offer Micro-gravity research opportunitis on the ISS, but I think the technology ports very well into the suborbital arena as well.
Space blogs typically focus on hardware and technology, but rarely on the business prospects for that hardware and technology in the developing frontier of commercial space. Read the entire piece from Space Business Blog.