NanoRacks Has Deployed its Largest Microsatellite from ISS


NanoRacks has successfully deployed the Kestrel Eye 2M (KE2M) microsatellite via the company’s Kaber Microsatellite Deployer from the International Space Station (ISS). This is the largest satellite NanoRacks has deployed to date, and the first deployed from the Kaber deployer.

According to NanoRacks, the Kaber program allows for a larger “express” class of satellites to be deployed from ISS, up to 100 kg. NanoRacks deploys these Kaber-class satellites currently through the Japanese Experiment Module Airlock, and will shift deployments to the NanoRacks airlock module when the company’s commercial airlock becomes operational in 2019.

KE2M is a U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command (SMDC) and Adcole-Maryland Aerospace program, serving as a technology demonstration microsatellite carrying an optical imaging system payload, including a Commercial-Off-the-Shelf (COTS) telescope. The goal of KE2M’s investigation is to demonstrate that small satellites are viable platforms for providing critical path support to operations and hosting advanced payloads.

Notably, KE2M could provide lower-cost Earth imagery in support of time-sensitive operations, such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters, according to the U.S. Army.

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