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@Tristan's answer to What are the orbital mechanical consideration behind hand-launched nanosatellites from the ISS? includes:

If you launch nadir and retrograde, you will put the object into a lower energy orbit such that, barring ISS deboosts (they do happen, but they are rare), it will never again intersect ISS's orbit. Launching prograde, zenith, or out of plane will set you up for a potential recontact scenario.

This was confirmed again in his answer to What are the orbital mechanical consideration behind hand-launched nanosatellites from the ISS?.

Now the GIF included in the BGR article Watch the International Space Station poop out a tiny satellite that will search for (missing) matter which shows a 3U cubesat ejected nadir and retrograde.

This begs the quesiton: Are the cubesats deployed from the ISS always directed "nadir and retrograde"?

Cubesat ejected nadir and retrograde from the ISS

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CubeSats are deployed from the ISS using the JEM Small Satellite Orbital Deployer (J-SSOD). The JAXA website lists the specifications set on deployment and notes that it is configured to avoid ISS collisions. Insertion direction is:

Nadir-aft 45° from the ISS nadir side, in terms of ISS body coordinate system (to avoid collision with the ISS)

This would indicate that the official procedure for CubeSat deployment is always nadir/aft (retrograde) when deploying from the J-SSOD. At the time of this answer, the J-SSOD is the only deployment mechanism on the ISS that I am aware of.

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