Nanoracks CubeSats deploy February 11, 2014 from the International Space Station. Image source: NASA.
Nanoracks issued a press release yesterday about the loss of their customers' payloads on the Orbital Sciences Orb-3 mission.
We have been in touch with all customers on the Orb-3 Mission and plan to be in touch with all our current and future customers on flight opportunities. Our focus today is on re-booking current customers who are manifested on Orb-4 and Orb-5, onto SpaceX or other cargo vehicles ...
We of course expect that Orbital will identify the root cause and be flying again. But we hope that from this setback we all can see the robustness of the space station program. No longer does the failure of one vehicle terminate a space station program.
The advantages of competition are proven again. Orbital dropped the ball, so Nanoracks is taking their customers elsewhere.
NASA was grounded 975 days after the loss of Challenger in January 1986, and 922 days after the loss of Columbia in February 2003. Now that NASA has choice, the ISS remains well-supplied.