Nanoracks’ Airlock Powers On for First Time Since Attachment to ISS Written 4 February 2021


The Nanoracks LLC Bishop Airlock Module, shown here with astronaut Kate Rubinst. | Credit: NASA

The Houston Chronicle reports that on Tuesday, Nanoracks’ Bishop Airlock, which was attached to the ISS on December 19, powered on for the first time since its attachment to the station. The airlock is the ISS’ “first commercial airlock,” and “is the station’s first permanent, complex element to be owned and operated by a commercial company.” When the airlock is attached, it “is pressurized and astronauts can fill it with satellites (ranging from the size of a loaf of bread to a refrigerator) to be deployed.” Once astronauts are out of the airlock, “air is sucked out and the space station’s robotic arm will disconnect the airlock from the space station.” The ISS’ “robotic arm positions the airlock away from the station to deploy satellites, or the airlock can be attached to a different part of the station’s exterior to expose those strapped-in experiments to space for prolonged periods of time.”
Full Story (Houston Chronicle)