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Spaceflight Inc, NanoRacks Partner to Deploy Planet Labs’ CubeSats

By Caleb Henry | July 16, 2014
      NanoRacks Spaceflight CubeSat

      Two “Dove” satellites from Planet Labs “Flock 1,” launched in February 2014. Photo: NanoRacks

      [Via Satellite 07-16-2014] Spaceflight Inc. and NanoRacks are assisting Planet Labs in the launch of 28 CubeSats from the International Space Station (ISS) as part of a joint teaming agreement. The Earth-imaging satellites were carried aboard an Orbital Sciences-built Cygnus spacecraft, which docked with the ISS today.

      Spaceflight Inc. tapped its launch-industry network to arrange for the transport of the CubeSats to the ISS, where NanoRacks will send them into orbit. The satellites are deployed from the ISS using NanoRacks’ CubeSat Deployers, which are built by Quad-M. NanoRacks was able to manifest the satellites through a Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA.

      “The International Space Station continues to be a launch pad for American companies to compete in the commercial Earth Observation industry and we are pleased, along with our colleagues at NASA and JAXA, to play a role in stimulating this market,” said Jeffrey Manber, CEO of NanoRacks.

      NanoRacks and Spaceflight Inc. worked together in January to launch and orbit 28 previous Planet Labs satellites collectively known as “Flock 1.” This additional 28 is designated “Flock 1b.”