HTV-2 reaches ISS & brings NanoRacks payload with educational projects

The Japanese cargo module HTV-2 has reached the ISS and the station’s arm has grappled onto it for a later docking : /– HTV Mission Report | Japanese cargo craft reaches International Space Station – Spaceflight Now /– ISS crew successfully capture HTV-2 for berthing to Station – NASASpaceFlight.com === Here is an announcement from NanoRacks LLC about their payload aboard the HTV:

NanoRacks’ LLC, Commercial Payloads Arrive at International Space Station

(Houston, January 27, 2011) The successful docking of the JAXA HTV-2 cargo vehicle this morning is great news for a high school in San Jose, California and Ohio State University.

The docking marks the next critical milestone in these two commercial educational payloads, which was made possible by NanoRacks, LLC, the leading company providing commercial opportunities onboard the U.S. National Laboratory on Space Station. The company is working with NASA under a Space Act Agreement for the use of the ISS National Lab on the International Space Station.

For the NanoRacks team, these missions are proof-positive of a new can-do era. “For both educational payloads,” explains Managing Director Jeffrey Manber, “the schools went from zero to docking in less than nine months. That’s a great benchmark of what is now possible on the U.S. National Lab.”

Valley Christian Schools of San Jose California is undertaking a 30 day botany project to introduce their students to the unique environment of space. Equally exciting, it is the first commercial space station high school project. More can be learned at: http://www.vcs.net/quicklinks/mathscience/iss-project/index.aspx

A third NanoRacks payload is also ready to be transferred to the space station. It is a USB connected optical microscope which will allow students and researchers to undertake more in-orbit analysis. “We have worked to identify niche areas of demand as we see the U.S. National Lab ramp up to full operational status” explains Manber. “And we want to be a key contributor as the Lab moves forward.”

NanoRacks, working with its partner Kentucky Space, has a turnkey operational system that can handle all aspects of customer requirements, from payload development, to NASA integration to mission operations, all in a customer friendly environment.

Integration of the three payloads onto the NanoRacks’ Platforms permanently installed on the station is expected to take place in early February.

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