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  NanoRacks 'Bishop' airlock for space station

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Author Topic:   NanoRacks 'Bishop' airlock for space station
Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-28-2016 01:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NanoRacks is offering to build an airlock that will be attached to the International Space Station and provide the capability to deploy cubesats and larger satellites. The $12 to $15 million airlock would also allow NASA to bring in large pumps and storage tanks for repairs, rather than disposing of them, reports Ars Technica.
"We developed a commercial pathway to the station, and now we want to extend that pathway outside the station," Jeff Manber, the company's managing director, told Ars in an interview. "This is a sign that we believe in the future of the station."

...NASA is interested, and it may give NanoRacks approval to proceed with developing the airlock as soon as next month. The agency and its primary station contractor, Boeing, are conducting a formal assessment to see if the airlock can be safely integrated into the station. "We've very intrigued by it, and we haven't found any showstoppers so far," Mike Read, manager of the space station National Lab Office at Johnson Space Center, told Ars.

If approved by NASA, the airlock, which NanoRacks has dubbed the "Doorway to Space," could launch as early as 2018 inside the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon capsule. The company says it could use the airlock as many as 12 times a year.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2017 08:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Progress Underway for First Commercial Airlock on Space Station

The International Space Station allows NASA to conduct cutting-edge research and technology demonstrations for the next giant leap in human exploration and supports an emerging space economy in low-Earth orbit. Deployment of CubeSats and other small satellite payloads from the orbiting laboratory by commercial customers and NASA has increased in recent years. To support demand, NASA has accepted a proposal from NanoRacks to develop the first commercially funded airlock on the space station.

"We want to utilize the space station to expose the commercial sector to new and novel uses of space, ultimately creating a new economy in low-Earth orbit for scientific research, technology development and human and cargo transportation," said Sam Scimemi, director, ISS Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We hope this new airlock will allow a diverse community to experiment and develop opportunities in space for the commercial sector."

In addition to the large number of CubeSats and small satellites NanoRacks wants to deploy from station, their proposed airlock will also be capable of supporting multiple external payloads.

Signaling a significant step forward in their airlock plans, NanoRacks announced an independent partnership with Boeing on Feb. 6, 2017, to develop the airlock. Once NanoRacks successfully completes the phases outlined in a Space Act Agreement NanoRacks signed with NASA in 2016, the agency has committed to install the airlock for commercial use, research, and technology demonstrations from the International Space Station.

Payloads, including commercial payloads, deployed via the airlock will be coordinated through the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), NASA's manager of the U.S. National Laboratory on the space station. All non-NASA funded payloads for the U.S. National Lab are subject to the vetting process CASIS has established.

NASA anticipates the airlock will launch on a commercial resupply mission for integration in 2019, and will be located on a port in the space station's Tranquility module.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 02-06-2017 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Boeing release
Boeing, NanoRacks Partner to Create First Commercial Airlock

Boeing and NanoRacks LLC will partner to develop the first privately funded commercial airlock, enabling the United States to potentially triple the number of small satellites it can deploy from the International Space Station (ISS) during a single airlock cycle.

The NanoRacks Airlock Module, which is planned to be attached to the ISS U.S. segment in 2019, will increase the capability of transferring equipment, payloads and deployable satellites from inside the ISS to outside, significantly increasing the utilization of ISS.

ISS prime contractor Boeing will build and install the airlock's Passive Common Berthing Mechanism, the hardware used to connect the pressurized modules of the ISS.

Currently, the United States utilizes the airlock on the ISS Japanese Experiment Module. This new commercial airlock will be larger and more robust to better handle increasing market requirements.

"The installation of NanoRacks' commercial airlock will help us keep up with demand," said Boeing International Space Station program manager Mark Mulqueen. "This is a big step in facilitating commercial business on the ISS."

"We are entering a new chapter in the space station program where the private sector is taking on more responsibilities. We see this as only the beginning and are delighted to team with our friends at Boeing," said Jeffrey Manber, CEO of NanoRacks.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-18-2017 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NanoRacks release
NanoRacks Airlock Passes Johnson Space Center's Astronaut Training Exercise

The NanoRacks Airlock Module design continues to mature as NASA's Johnson Space Center successfully ran testing on a NASA-built full-scale mockup of the Airlock in their Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL).

The tests confirmed that spacewalking astronauts will be able to successfully maneuver around the Airlock structure and mounted external payloads. Astronauts will be able to do this with the assistance of handrails, which have been strategically placed by the NanoRacks design team.

The mission of the NBL is to prepare for space missions involving spacewalks. NASA team members use the NBL to develop flight procedures, verify hardware compatibility, train astronauts, and refine spacewalk procedures during flight that are necessary to ensure mission success.

In May 2016, NanoRacks and NASA signed a Space Act Agreement to begin development of a private airlock module onboard the International Space Station (ISS). In February 2017, NanoRacks announced that the Company has selected Boeing as a partner to fabricate and install the Airlock's Passive Common Berthing Mechanism (PCBM), which is used to connect most pressurized modules of the ISS – and is the most critical piece of hardware for the NanoRacks Airlock Module

"All is progressing smoothly with the development of our commercial Airlock," says Airlock Project Manager, Brock Howe. "We are still targeting launch in 2019 in a SpaceX Dragon trunk, and we're thankful for the hard work involving all of our Airlock partners, including our friends at Boeing, ATA Engineering, and Oceaneering."

The NanoRacks Airlock Module is five times larger than the existing Japanese (JEM) Airlock currently on Station, and will be commercially operated, driven by market demand and a growing customer base.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-17-2018 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NanoRacks release
NanoRacks Commercial Space Station Airlock 'Bishop' Completes Critical Design Review, Moves to Fabrication

The NanoRacks Space Station Airlock Module "Bishop" met another major milestone with completion of the Critical Design Review (CDR) on March 20 and 21, 2018 in Houston, Texas. This milestone begins the transition from the engineering design phase to the fabrication phase. Detailed design drawings such as those for the critical pressure shell will be signed and released to NanoRacks fabrication partner, Thales Alenia Space, in order for them to continue their fabrication efforts.

In February 2018, NanoRacks announced that Thales Alenia Space, the joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), was chosen as the latest partner in its commercial airlock program, joining with a number of key partners, including Boeing.

Thales Alenia Space is set to produce and test the critical pressure shell for the NanoRacks Airlock Module and will also manufacture various secondary structures, including the Micrometeoroid Orbital Debris (MMOD) shields with Multi-Layer Isolation (MLI) panels, the power and video grapple fixture support structure and other structural components.

Other key features, such as the Passive Common Berthing Mechanism (PCBM), being manufactured by Boeing, require a long lead time and have been in production for over a year now. The PCBM will be delivered to Thales Alenia Space in May 2018 and will then be installed to the pressure shell.

"I'm very proud of the NanoRacks engineering team and our partner, ATA Engineering, who performs the structural and thermal analysis for Bishop," says Airlock Project Manager Brock Howe. "This is a crucial milestone that required many long hours, and the team has been working together very smoothly. We're also very appreciative of our relationship with NASA and the International Space Station Program Office, as they have provided guidance and expertise in several critical areas. As always, there is plenty of work still to do – and we will continue to push forward."

The next major milestone is the Phase II Safety Review scheduled for June 2018. The project is still on track to meet the SpaceX CRS-19 launch, targeting fourth quarter 2019.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-21-2018 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NanoRacks video
The NanoRacks Airlock Module (Bishop) is the first-ever commercial Airlock that will operate on the International Space Station.

Owned by NanoRacks, Bishop will be both a permanent commercial un-crewed module onboard the International Space Station, and also a module capable of being removed from the Space Station and used on a future commercial platform, such as Independence-1. Bishop will offer five times the satellite deployment volume than current opportunities available on the Space Station today. The Airlock is manifested to launch in late 2019.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 44608
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-09-2020 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nanoracks release
GITAI and Nanoracks announce tech-demo of GITAI robot in Bishop Airlock

In 2021, space robotics start-up GITAI, in collaboration with Nanoracks, will conduct a technical demonstration of a GITAI robot executing versatile tasks inside the Nanoracks' Bishop Airlock Module installed on Node 3 of the International Space Station (ISS).

In this technical demonstration, GITAI's space robot "S1" will be installed inside Bishop's pressurized volume to conduct two experiments: IVA (Intra-Vehicular Activity) tasks such as switch and cable operations, and assembly of structures and panels to demonstrate its capability for ISA (In-Space Assembly). All operations conducted by the S1 GITAI robotic arm will be autonomous, followed by some tele-operations from Nanoracks' in-house mission control.

GITAI is managing the technical development of the S1 space robotic arm. Nanoracks is providing the launch opportunity, managing on-orbit operations, and data downlink. Nanoracks is providing this ISS opportunity via their Space Act Agreement with NASA.

Through this technical demonstration, GITAI will acquire the technology, know-how, and experience necessary to develop a robot that can conduct versatile tasks in space. This demonstration will be applied to future development of autonomous robots working in the harsh space environment that can conduct docking, repairs, and maintenance tasks for On-Orbit Servicing (OOS) and conduct various tasks for lunar exploration and lunar base construction.

"We are very excited to be the world's first private company to conduct a technical demonstration of a space robot, in collaboration with the world's leading provider of commercial space services, Nanoracks," says GITAI's Founder and CEO, Mr. Sho Nakanose. "In the current space market, there are many players trying to solve the space transportation problem, but very few standing up to the challenge to provide an alternative option for getting work done in space. However, in today's booming space industry, there is a growing demand for versatile tasks to be conducted in space, but in a more reasonable and non-life-threatening manner. With the success of this technical demonstration, GITAI will be able to provide a significantly cheaper and safer means of conducting various tasks in space, which will bring about a true dawn of the space commercialization age."

"We are thrilled to be working with GITAI for the first commercial project scheduled in the Bishop Airlock," says Nanoracks CEO Jeffrey Manber. "We designed Bishop with the goal of providing increased commercial access to the International Space Station (ISS) and building a platform that allows for complex and customizable projects that were not able to be completed on the ISS before. The Bishop Airlock is a place for creativity, and we cannot wait to see GITAI's robotics come to life and enable incredible new technology."

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