NanoRacks and Boeing to join forces to create the first privately funded commercial airlock. This could possibly enable the U.S. to triple the number of small deployed satellites from the International Space Station during only one single airlock. NanoRacks has selected Boeing to create and install the new airlock on the international space station. This new airlock is currently being manufactured at the Alabama Boeing facility along with other engineering services required for development. Safety, operations, quality assurance, avionics along with mechanical design and of course the final assembly of the airlock. The NanoRacks airlock will be permanently installed onboard the International Space Station once fully developed with an estimated launch date of 2019.
Along with more satellites the new airlock will provide more capabilities when transferring equipment from the space station to spaceship. The goal in the future is to be able to detach the airlock and place it into another orbital mission. The United States is currently already using an airlock system on the International Space Station Japan Experiment Module. It’s said the new commercial airlock will be much more equipped to handle increased market requirements while being larger and much more robust. I am seeing this as a big step in giving the private sector more responsibilities in space travel.
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