CAPE CANAVERAL, FL – Craig Technologies Aerospace Solutions (Craig) is pleased to announce the successful launch of CraigX, their on-orbit external experimental facility hosted on the NanoRacks International Space Station External Platform (NREP). The mission launched on the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket mission NG-12 under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) contract.
The CraigX Flight Test Platform (FTP), was designed, manufactured and assembled in-house at their facilities in Cape Canaveral, FL. It is designed to mount externally to the International Space Station (ISS) and promote electronics testing to raise Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) at a low cost and a reduced time frame. The interchangeable panel design minimizes hardware changes between missions while maximizing flexibility to accommodate customer requirements. Additive manufactured hardware is used internally to reduce manufacturing cost and schedule. Some of the features include:
• Flight computer with a custom power distribution board capable of scheduling multiple payloads
• Data downlink and uplink availability to analyze data during missions with the option to modify operational software and test parameters while the payload is deployed
• 2TB onboard data storage
• Wake facing camera with limited streaming
• Two 2.4 in. spiral antennae (nadir and zenith facing)
• GPS patch antenna for position data
• Payloads are not required to conform to standard CubeSat footprints
• Typical mission duration: 15-24 weeks
This first CraigX mission includes multiple material samples from a prominent launch provider, to measure how they degrade in the harsh environment of space, as well as multiple payloads ranging from additive manufactured material sample exposure to software defined radio testing to a STEM thermal dissipation experiment from customers including Lamborghini, in partnership with the Houston Methodist Research Institute, Rincon Research, Quest Institute, Alfred University, Second Baptist School, Cobra Puma Golf, Explore.org, and Genesis Dimensions.
In addition to CraigX, NG-12 launched the DoD Space Test Satellite-4 (STPSat-4) which is made up of five distinct experiments from the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), and the U.S. Navy. STPSat-4 will be launched from the ISS using the Space Stations Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS). Craig currently provides turnkey services to manage and perform the work for integration and on-orbit operations of payloads using SSIKLOPS for both government and commercial customers. The SSIKLOPS platform robotically deploys satellites from the ISS and is designed to provide a method to transfer internally stowed satellites to the external environment.