This week over a dozen small satellites called CubeSats have been injected into orbit from the International Space Station using a system developed by NanoRacks. This video of the deployment of a NASA satellite on Tuesday:

A description of the satellites being sent into orbit is given in CubeSat Deployer Mission 11 Status Update: Good Deploy! – NanoRacks.

A cubesat is shot into orbit from the ISS; Credits NanoRacks.

The deployments included satellites from the QB50 Mission

The QB50 Mission consists of dozens of universities located around the world – including Israel, Canada, Australia, Korea, Spain, Germany, France and more. Coordinated by the von Karman Institute and sponsored by the European Commission, the QB50 CubeSats will take advantage of the space station orbit to study the lower thermosphere (200-380 kilometers) collecting scientific climate data, in what is considered by experts a relatively unexplored part of Earth’s atmosphere.

The ISS portion of the QB50 Mission involves over 300 students and 50 professionals, which brings the program together.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet tells us about the QB50 Mission being deployed via NanoRacks and our NRCSD (NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer) on the International Space Station.