The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has contracted NanoRacks as the launch services provider for the Canadian CubeSat Project.
The contract, worth just over $2 million, doesn’t come as a surprise. NanoRacks, headquartered in Webster, Texas, which is a suburb of Houston, has long been a supplier of small satellite deployments, in particular from the International Space Station (ISS).
NanoRacks could not provide a comment at this time as the official announcement has yet to made by the CSA. The CSA for its part, did confirm the contract posted to the governments Buy and Sell website today was for the deployment of the satellites from the ISS for the Canadian CubeSat Project.
The CSA describes says the “Canadian CubeSat Project will provide professors in post-secondary institutions with an opportunity to engage their students in a real space mission. Through this unique hands-on experience, students will learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), stimulating their interest in STEM education and careers. This initiative falls under the CSA’s mandate to foster the continuing development of a critical mass of researchers and highly qualified people in Canada.”
The CSA will shortly announce the teams that have been selected to receive a grant of up to $200,000. The CSA had said that it would award up to 13 grants hoping to get a satellite built in each province and territory.
According to NanoRacks the “NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer (NRCSD) is a self-contained CubeSat deployer system that mechanically and electrically isolates CubeSats from the ISS, cargo resupply vehicles, and ISS crew. The NRCSD design is compliant with NASA ISS flight safety requirements and is space qualified.”
The NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer was used last May to deploy the University of Alberta’s student led AlbertaSat program Ex-Alta 1 CubeSat.
SpaceQ interviewed CEO Jeff Manber last fall and at the time he stated they had deployed nearly 200 satellites from the ISS.