2013.A.2.3 Cubesat Lauch from the ISS
Richard Pournelle (1),
- NanoRacks, USA
NanoRacks, a leader in commercial services on the International Space Station (ISS), is the only company to offer commercial cubesat launches from the ISS. On November 2, 2012 the F-1 1U cubesat from FPT University in Vietnam was deployed from the ISS. The ISS orbit offers 2-6 months of satellite life for cubesats without station keeping. Currently satellite up to 3U can be deployed from the ISS using the J-SSOD launcher. NanoRacks has opportunities for cubesat deployment up to 4U in size and has future plans for larger satellites. NanoRacks has a healthy backlog of orders and opportunities for 2014 deployment of cubesats are available. The ISS offers several unique qualities for cubesat deployment. First, there is a regular supply chain of cargo flights to the ISS. This gives cubesat builders greater flexibility in delivering their payloads to space. If a date is missed, future flight opportunities exist every few months. Second, the ISS offers the ability to deploy cubesats in sequence with the possibility of taskable satellites that can be deployed in an emergency. Finally, the ISS offers a unique branding opportunity with spectacular pictures of cubesat deployment. Pictures of the F-1 satellite deployment were featured as some of the best pictures of 2012 in Wired Magazine. This gives cubesat operators a signature kick-off moment as the mission begins.
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