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NanoRacks National Lab on the International Space Station

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Houston, Texas, US

About NanoRacks National Lab on the International Space Station

NanoRacks is proudly democratizing the utilization of the low-earth orbit region of space. We are an entrepreneurial company that was the first to market its own hardware and services onboard the International Space Station. By providing a commercial pathway to using the Space Station, we have helped usher in a... Show more »

NanoRacks is proudly democratizing the utilization of the low-earth orbit region of space. We are an entrepreneurial company that was the first to market its own hardware and services onboard the International Space Station. By providing a commercial pathway to using the Space Station, we have helped usher in a new chapter of the space frontier: making space just another place to do business.

Our vision is to bring together three concepts as our driving force: low-cost, standardization of hardware, and understanding the customer. We like to believe that in space, small is the new big.

Our customers include everyone from high schools to government space agencies, all who pay for our services on a commercial basis. The client base includes NASA, the German Space Agency, ESA, Planet Labs, Spire, biopharmaceutical firms, Urthecast and dozens of high schools and universities. We are thrilled that our customer base includes companies and organizations from Romania to Israel, from Peru to Saudi Arabia, as well as Vietnam, Japan, Canada and the UK, as well as a full range of government and private customers from the United States.

Our services include Cubesat deployment, biopharm services, test platforms for advanced sensors for earth observation, research platforms for materials and educational research—wherever there is a need for space goods or services, NanoRacks seeks to be part of the commercial solution.

Today, as we enter our fifth year of operations, NanoRacks is no longer only operating onboard the space station. For customers like the suborbital Virgin Galactic to those seeking to go beyond LEO, to Lunar and beyond, we are also providing cutting edge space products and services.

Co-founded by CTO Mike Johnson and space entrepreneur Jeffrey Manber, among others, the company began in a garage in Houston, was self-funded by the co-founders and today is an acknowledged market leader in in-space services. For us, it was clear in 2009 that a new era was fast approaching, one where governments would act more like commercial customers and pay for needed space services, and one where space agencies would cease competing against commercial ventures. The result, now seen on the International Space Station, is a robust and growing ecosystem of services that is proving a model for moving into thae next generation of space exploration.

We have three locations: our main shop is in Houston, Texas, near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, the gateway to the International Space Station. Our business development office is in Washington, D.C., and now we have just opened an office in Silicon Valley, at the NASA Ames Research Center.

NanoRacks’ team shares a passion for space, including humanity’s utilization of low-earth orbit.

The exploration and utilization of space is now integrated into the very fabric of our societies. How to leverage more fully the resources required to improve our lives here on earth is the overarching obsession for all us here at NanoRacks.

We hope you will join us in this quest!

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Our Services (24)


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Cell Migration Assays

Price on request

NanoRacks Microplate Reader onboard the International Space Station

NanoRacks operates a fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader onboard the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in... Show more »

NanoRacks Microplate Reader onboard the International Space Station

NanoRacks operates a fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader onboard the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm increments, you can design your microgravity fluorescence, luminescence or UV-vis absorbance experiments just as you would on the ground.

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Fluorescence Spectrophotometry

Price on request

NanoRacks Microplate Reader on International Space Staiton

NanoRacks operates fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader on the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm... Show more »

NanoRacks Microplate Reader on International Space Staiton

NanoRacks operates fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader on the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm increments, you can design your microgravity fluorescence, luminescence or UV-vis absorbance experiments just as you would on the ground.

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Microgravity Fluids Mixing Enclosures (MixStix)

Price on request

Our MixStix system allows for a powerful, non-powered environment for fluid and biological research onboard the ISS – U.S. National Lab. These 4 mL silicone tubes allow for simple, large volume mixture/reaction analysis. Samples are confined to regions within the tube using clamps until a desired time. Once the clamps are... Show more »

Our MixStix system allows for a powerful, non-powered environment for fluid and biological research onboard the ISS – U.S. National Lab. These 4 mL silicone tubes allow for simple, large volume mixture/reaction analysis. Samples are confined to regions within the tube using clamps until a desired time. Once the clamps are released, slight kneading allows for mixing of the reagents inside. Examples: inorganic crystal growth, tissue culture, fluid dynamics.

NanoRacks’ dedicated 2U NanoLab research modules provide housing for up to twenty four individual Fluids Mixing Enclosures (MixStix) allowing all microgravity reactions and materials to be captured for analysis on the International Space Station or returned to Earth via the Soyuz.

All results are automatically generated by the mixing of the fluids in the microgravity environment after being manipulated (cracked open) by the ISS crew member by flexing the Teflon tube in the same manner as activating a glow stick.

MixStix microgravity research

24 MixStix per module
Duration negotiable
Returnable samples
3 levels of containment
Outer tube volume: 6.33 ml
Inner tube volume: 1.29 ml

Once you load your NanoRacks’ furnished MixStix we provide all the required vacuum testing, paperwork, transportation to ISS and MixStix retrieval.

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Microgravity Microscopy

Price on request

NanoRacks optical microscope allows on-the-ground researchers to undertake in-situ microgravity analysis.

As part of our business model to provide low-cost, easy to use on-orbit facilities, our third on-station product is the NanoRacks Microscope-1.

The USB Microscope plugs into any ISS laptop allowing crewmembers to adjust... Show more »

NanoRacks optical microscope allows on-the-ground researchers to undertake in-situ microgravity analysis.

As part of our business model to provide low-cost, easy to use on-orbit facilities, our third on-station product is the NanoRacks Microscope-1.

The USB Microscope plugs into any ISS laptop allowing crewmembers to adjust the position of the samples on the slide and focus the microscope as well as choose the magnification from the 5X, 10X or 20X objectives.

When the desired images are captured, the crewmember will copy them from the USB Video Device to the destination file for later downlink to your team on the ground.

Easy ISS Microgravity microscope photography

Standardized slide holders
Power from ISS (5V dc)
Standard USB connection
1 click image capture
Easy image downloads
Repeatable access

Send us your slides and have crewmembers take pictures during your 30 day ISS mission.

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Microgravity Plate Reader

Price on request

NanoRacks Plate Reader will open the door to new bio-pharmaceutical research opportunities onboard the ISS by the first quarter of 2014

The NanoRacks’ MD Plate Reader-1 holds 96 samples allowing veteran space researchers and those new to space to perform the same state of the art analysis now done in laboratories on the... Show more »

NanoRacks Plate Reader will open the door to new bio-pharmaceutical research opportunities onboard the ISS by the first quarter of 2014

The NanoRacks’ MD Plate Reader-1 holds 96 samples allowing veteran space researchers and those new to space to perform the same state of the art analysis now done in laboratories on the Earth.

We are working night and day to modify this sophisticated research unit for use by NASA and NanoRacks’ customers inside a standard locker onboard the U.S. National Lab.

Plug and Play microgravity research

96 wells per microplate
30 day research window
Power from ISS (5V dc)
Easy data downloads
Returnable samples
Repeatable experiments

You send us the samples and we provide all the required paperwork, power, transportation to ISS and data retrieval.

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NanoRack Research Modules

Price on request

Two NanoRacks Platforms are now permanently housed on the International Space Station U.S. National Lab, allowing for 32 payload slots of NanoRacks research modules, known as NanoLabs (1U = 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches) or any combination, such as 2U or 3U x 8U and so on.

Two NanoRacks Platforms are now permanently housed on the International Space Station U.S. National Lab, allowing for 32 payload slots of NanoRacks research modules, known as NanoLabs (1U = 4 inches by 4 inches by 4 inches) or any combination, such as 2U or 3U x 8U and so on.

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Microgravity Protein Crystallization

Price on request

NanoRacks Protein Crystal Growth System

We provide a simple, cost effective system for growing protein crystals in microgravity. Based on the Protein BioSolutions Plugmaker, this microfluidic system is the size of a microscope slide and only uses ~4 uL of protein sample per slide. Each slide contains ~400 sample “plugs,” with... Show more »

NanoRacks Protein Crystal Growth System

We provide a simple, cost effective system for growing protein crystals in microgravity. Based on the Protein BioSolutions Plugmaker, this microfluidic system is the size of a microscope slide and only uses ~4 uL of protein sample per slide. Each slide contains ~400 sample “plugs,” with the option for the investigator to vary the three channel plug conditions (protein, buffer, precipitant) any way they choose, allowing for a wide range of crystal growth experiments on each slide. Samples are immediately frozen on the ground until arriving at the ISS. Once thawed, the samples can be viewed using a NanoRacks microscope for assurance of microgravity crystal growth. Time for crystallization can be as little as 30 days or as long as desired.

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Single Cell Gene Expression Analysis

Price on request

The NanoRacks Centrifuge-1 is permanently housed on the International Space Station U.S. National Lab.

The NanoRacks Centrifuge can simulate Earth, Moon, and Mars Gravity on the International Space Station, either for independent samples or allowing research projects to be performed in parallel (both control and microgravity... Show more »

The NanoRacks Centrifuge-1 is permanently housed on the International Space Station U.S. National Lab.

The NanoRacks Centrifuge can simulate Earth, Moon, and Mars Gravity on the International Space Station, either for independent samples or allowing research projects to be performed in parallel (both control and microgravity samples in same environment on orbit). The Platform-3 provides stowage, power, heat rejection, and USB data port connectivity in the centrifuge with up to 12 powered and 4 unpowered EC’s in the BioRack.

Scientists can use programmable, self-contained experiment containers or one of their own designs. Researchers are also able to distinguish between micro-gravity and 1-G based research.

The Centrifuge was designed by NanoRacks and Astrium North America to leverage existing quality life science equipment and to provide commercial space access.

Data available as soon as experiments are completed.

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Time Resolved Fluorescence

Price on request

NanoRacks Microplate Reader onboard the International Space Station

NanoRacks operates a fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader on the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm... Show more »

NanoRacks Microplate Reader onboard the International Space Station

NanoRacks operates a fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader on the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm increments, you can design your microgravity fluorescence, luminescence or UV-vis absorbance experiments just as you would on the ground.

Show less

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UV-VIS Spectroscopy

Price on request

NanoRacks Microplate Reader onboard the International Space Station

NanoRacks operates fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader on the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm... Show more »

NanoRacks Microplate Reader onboard the International Space Station

NanoRacks operates fully functional Molecular Devices SpectraMax® M5e microplate reader on the International Space Station that can utilize 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 384 well (2:3) plate formats as well as Cuvette Plates. With a range of 200-1000 nm, tunable in 1 nm increments, you can design your microgravity fluorescence, luminescence or UV-vis absorbance experiments just as you would on the ground.

Show less

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Cell-Based Assays

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Fluorescence Spectroscopy

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PCR

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Spectrophotometry

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DNA Services

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Imaging & Spectroscopy

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Cell Invasion & Migration Assays

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Spectroscopy

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Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

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Microgravity Experiments

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Physical Analysis Methods

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Engineering and Fabrication

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Nucleic Acid Services

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Sequencing data in FASTQ

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Carl Carruthers

Life Sciences Payload Manager
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Abby Dickes

Managing Director
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