Press Release

NanoRacks External Platform Completes First Interim Design Review

By SpaceRef Editor
October 17, 2012
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NanoRacks External Platform Completes First Interim Design Review

Las Cruces, NM – At the 2012 International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, NanoRacks and Astrium North America announced the successful completion of the 1st Interim Design Review (IDR) for the External Payload Platform (EPP).

The EPP owned and financed by NanoRacks, is designed and developed jointly by NanoRacks and Astrium. The platform is to be mounted on the exterior of the ISS and represents a first external commercial research capability for the testing of research payloads, sensors and electronic components in space.

“The EPP fits with customer needs for lower cost, and shorter time to market,” said NanoRacks Senior Vice-President of Business Development Richard Pournelle. “Commercial, military and government customers are looking to managed services for testing and deployment of space hardware. This program provides a turnkey solution to test and implement payloads in space.”

In late September NanoRacks and Astrium conducted an Interim Design Review (IDR-1) with the NASA/ISS Payloads community, thus completing this first required review of design data with the various technical and operational disciplines. The successful completion of this review characterizes the progress the EPP program has achieved since announcement.

“We are very appreciative of the amount of work on the part of Astrium and NASA that it has taken to reach this important first technical milestone,” explained Michael Johnson, Chief Technology Officer of NanoRacks. Scheduled design activity commenced in June of 2012, and opens the gate toward completion of the detailed design, with a critical design level review scheduled for April 2013. “Completion of this IDR reflects a significant milestone in the EPP project,” Said Ron Dunklee President and CEO of Astrium North America, Inc. “Based on these results, the team feels confident that we can begin preliminary fabrication activities by the first quarter of 2013 and remain on schedule to offer this one-of-a-kind commercial research capability in the first half of 2014.”

About NanoRacks

NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide quality hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station. The company developed and has two research platforms onboard the U.S. National Laboratory which can house plug and play payloads using the CubeSat form factor.

The current signed customer pipeline of over 80 payloads including domestic and international educational institutions, research organizations and government organizations, has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low earth orbit utilization.

About Astrium North America

Astrium North America is a U.S. based company incorporated in 1973 specializing in program and project management, software engineering, external carrier development and integration services, experiment and payload processing, life and physical sciences hardware and flight simulation and training for the international aerospace community.

Utilizing our unique relationships and worldwide collaborations with the industries leading government and commercial space flight organizations, Astrium North America is a key participant in the International Space Station program.

As an EADS company, Astrium North America has the distinct advantage of direct access to European aerospace technology and hardware. Please visit or contract Rich Pournelle at for more information.

SpaceRef staff editor.