Press Release

Surrey Satellite US Joins Aerojet Rocketdyne and NanoRacks for FeatherCraft Development

By SpaceRef Editor
April 9, 2015
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Colorado-based Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US) today announced its collaboration with Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. and NanoRacks LLC on the development of the FeatherCraft platform, a 100-kilogram-class satellite platform optimized for deployment from the International Space Station (ISS).

The 100-kilogram, SST-US-designed FeatherCraft platform is intended to exploit the full capabilities of the ISS cargo resupply vessels and the NanoRacks Kaber deployment system aboard the ISS. Aerojet Rocketdyne’s electronic propulsion system permits handling of FeatherCraft as the ISS astronauts position it on the Kaber deployer for deployment into orbit. With a mission lifetime of five years, FeatherCraft will provide a low-risk, cost-effective satellite platform that can accommodate payloads with requirements of up to 45 kilograms and 50 watts.

The development of FeatherCraft leverages the significant experience of the team members: Surrey Satellite’s extensive heritage of small satellite design, development, and operation spanning over 30 years through the manufacture and deployment of 43 satellite programs; Aerojet Rocketdyne’s proven track record in the design, development, and manufacture of state-of-the-art propulsion and structural subsystems; and NanoRacks’ unique experience in the planning, logistics, and operations of launch services from the International Space Station.

Dr. John Paffett, chief executive officer of SST-US, commented, “We are excited to work with this extraordinary team to develop this innovative product. FeatherCraft will reduce payload integration and testing time for our customers, which facilitates rapid and cost-effective deployment of their payloads.”

“The Kaber launch service was a clear next step for NanoRacks to meet our company’s constantly growing customer needs and desires to deploy larger satellites from the International Space Station,” said Jeff Manber, chief executive officer of NanoRacks. “Kaber continues to promote ISS utilization, and the FeatherCraft platform expands the capability of payloads that can be deployed from ISS—furthering the ISS’s dual role as a commercial nexus.”

SST-US will manufacture, integrate, and test FeatherCraft at its Englewood, Colorado, facility. Find more information and specifications on the FeatherCraft platform on the SST-US website at

About Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC
Surrey Satellite Technology US LLC (SST-US), a wholly owned subsidiary of Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), is a Delaware-registered company with its principal offices located in Englewood, Colorado. Since its incorporation in 2008, SST-US has been addressing the requirements of the United States market and its customers for the provisions of small satellite solutions, applications, and services for Earth observation, science, technology demonstration, and communications. The activities of SST-US draw extensively on the heritage, background, and capability of all elements of the Surrey group, with a proven track record in provision of high-quality, rapid, cost-effective small satellite solutions, applications, and services.

Since 1981, Surrey has launched 43 satellites as well as provided training and development programs, consultancy services, and mission studies for NASA, the United States Air Force, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and other institutional and commercial customers with its innovative approach of “changing the economics of space.” | Twitter: @SurreySatUS

About NanoRacks LLC
NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. NanoRacks’ main office is in Houston, Texas, right alongside the NASA Johnson Space Center. The business development office is in Washington, DC, and NanoRacks now has a new office in Silicon Valley, California. The company has grown into the operating system for space utilization by having the tools, the hardware and the services to allow other companies, organizations and governments to realize their own space plans.

To date over 200 payloads have been deployed by the company on the International Space Station, and our customer base includes the European Space Agency (ESA) the German Space Agency (DLR,) the American space agency (NASA,) U.S. government agencies, Planet Labs, Urthecast, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, U.K., Romania, and Israel. Our customer base has propelled NanoRacks into a leadership position in understanding the emerging commercial market for low-Earth orbit utilization.

About Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc.
Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc. is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader providing propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. GenCorp is a diversified company that provides innovative solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense, and real estate markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ websites at and

SpaceRef staff editor.