A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is about to transport The Bishop to the International Space Station. This will be equipment for delivering goods to SSI astronauts.
Bishop is probably the most ambitious piece of hardware Nanoracks has ever built. Named Bishop and built by the aerospace company Nanoracks, it is designed to carry payloads from inside the space station at the opening of the space.
The company has previously built standardized boxes for space-based experiments and small satellite implementers, reports The Verge. The Bishop attaches to the outside of the space station using a series of clamps and latches.
“Once we get there, there are only additional properties until we want to use them,” Mike Lewis, innovation director at Nanoracks, told The Verge. “We can use it in many ways, the first being to bring things out into space.”
First of all, it's about the payloads – the Nanoracks intend for the device to deploy mainly satellites – are attached inside the Bishop. The astronauts then close the hatch, remove the air from inside the lock, and a robotic arm detaches the entire space station afterwards.
“It's like a submarine when you go out into the water, except that the difference is that you go out into the vacuum of space,” Lewis said. Two of the space station's three existing air stations currently allow people to leave the station. One, the Japanese experiment module, allows the release of payloads. Japanese startup GITAI already intends to test its robotic arm on the Nanoracks.
The company is currently conducting final tests to ship the hardware to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the next two weeks. Bishop is then launched in the next SpaceX cargo mission to the space station, which is currently scheduled for mid-November.