CubeSats continue to be a recurring passenger to the International Space Station from commercial services provider NanoRacks, a leader in the CubeSat revolution. Following the successful launch of Orbital ATK’s ninth resupply mission on Monday, the Cygnus capsule docked with the space station this morning, carrying nine CubeSats for deployment via NanoRacks from the ISS and six from Cygnus itself.
Since the first deployment of CubeSats from the ISS in 2013, NanoRacks has deployed more than 207 satellites into orbit. The use of these small satellites allows commercial innovators with fewer resources to use the unique environment of space for innovative research and discovery.
The following are three of the CubeSats included in the OA CRS-9 mission:
The CubeSat developed by this Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup seeks to demonstrate laser communication. With transfer rates in the gigabits per second, which is faster than industry standards, crucial data can be sent to the ground quickly and affordably.
The Aerospace Corporation
Two CubeSats developed by this company aim to demonstrate new star tracker imagers and advanced solar cells. These new technological capabilities could lead to increased efficiency in navigation technology and improved solar technology.
Four CubeSats will join the dozens already in orbit as part of Spire’s Lemur Constellation project. These small satellites provide advanced coverage of remote areas, such as oceanic and Arctic regions, and could help improve global weather forecasts and increase shipping security and safety.
Learn more about NanoRacks and their role in the CubeSat revolution in this video.