Press Release

Nanoracks Deploys 250th Satellite, Eighth Cygnus Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
February 3, 2020
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Friday evening, Nanoracks successfully completed the Company’s eighth CubeSat deployment mission from Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft. Cygnus (S.S. Alan Bean) departed the International Space Station on January 31, 2020 and performed a number of on-orbit activities, including yet another historic Nanoracks deployment.

Nanoracks’ External Cygnus Deployment mission released seven CubeSats into a circular orbit of 465km beginning at approximately 4:00 pm ET/9:00 PM GMT. The CubeSats deployed were: Aerocube 14 A/B & Aerocube 15 A/B (Aerospace Corporation), SwampSat II (University of Florida), Orbital Factory-2 (University of Texas, El Paso), and HuskySat-1 (University of Washington).

Friday’s operations also marked Nanoracks’ 250th small satellite deployed since 2014 across the Company’s available deployment platforms, including the International Space Station, India’s Polar Space Vehicle (PSLV), and Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus. 

“Between standing up a new program on the Falcon 9 and maintaining our current offerings on Cygnus and the Space Station, we’ve been busy.” says Nanoracks External Payloads Program Manager, Henry Martin. “Deploying 250 satellites is a huge milestone for Nanoracks as we continue to be the world’s leading provider of commercial access to space. Since we pioneered this capability in 2016, this is our eighth mission in a row with Northrop Grumman, and our 46th CubeSat deployed from the Cygnus. It’s our job to provide consistent and reliable flight opportunities to our global customer base, and this American spacecraft is a key mechanism to accomplishing that. For many reasons, this program is near and dear to me, so congratulations to all of the satellite teams on this successful mission!”

Of note, HuskySat-1 and SwampSat II were selected for flight by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and were launched in the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites-25A mission complement, supported by the NASA Launch Services Program. 

The Nanoracks External Cygnus Program is the first program to have leveraged a commercial resupply vehicle for use beyond the primary cargo delivery to Space Station, demonstrating the future possibilities for the Nanoracks Space Outpost Program and other commercial space station activities.

“Thank you to our friends and partners at both NASA and Northrop Grumman for their continued support towards innovative commercial satellite deployment programs,” finishes Martin.

SpaceRef staff editor.