Cape Canaveral, FL
Sidus Space (formerly Craig Technologies Aerospace Solutions) is excited to announce it is on a winning team for one of the highly coveted and first implementation of NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Project Polaris awards for: ASTRA – Autonomous Satellite Technology for Real-time Applications. Project Polaris is a new HEOMD initiative to help meet the difficult challenges of sending humans to the Moon and Mars.
Sidus Space incorporates engineering services with successful manufacturing of space products to provide turnkey services to manage and execute the successful integration and on-orbit operations of satellite payloads for our customers.
ASTRA will be managed by the Stennis Space Center Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL), led by Dr. Lauren Underwood, and conducted in partnership with Sidus. The partnership brings the aerospace company’s years of space hardware and software development expertise to this team and creates opportunities for early-career employees to develop and strengthen critical engineering, software, and project management skills to support future NASA missions including Artemis.
The Stennis ASTRA team will design, build, and test the ASTRA autonomous systems hardware and software, and will work with Sidus and its LizzieSat™, a proprietary multipurpose satellite bus that integrates custom payloads, to integrate the ASTRA hardware and software
NASA has contracted with Sidus to provide turnkey services to manage, integrate, deploy and perform on-orbit operations of commercial satellites under 110kg into a 51.6 degree low Earth orbit (LEO) at an altitude of approximately 400km using the Space Station Integrated Kinetic Launcher for Orbital Payload Systems (SSIKLOPS). The aerospace company will leverage this contract to deploy LizzieSat™ from the International Space Station utilizing SSIKLOPS.
Sidus Space will provide Guidance, Navigation, and Control, Tracking, Telemetry, and Commanding for on-orbit operations of LizzieSat™ throughout the life of the mission and also provide Stennis ASTRA team with telemetry for analysis of the payload execution files, operations, health, and status. Commands for ASTRA payload operations then will be sent from the Stennis ASTRA team back to Sidus.
The Stennis ASL ASTRA team and Sidus will develop an Operation Interface Procedure for this mission and coordinate mission operations per the OIP.
“Cislunar is the next destination for America in space, and Sidus is proud to be selected to partner with ASTRA to work toward getting us there,” said Carol Craig, Founder and CEO. “Sidus has a long history of supporting NASA initiatives and will strive to continue that support as we take our first permanent steps outward beyond low earth orbit (LEO).”
“Stennis is excited to partner on this cutting-edge technology demonstration that will enable new capabilities required for humans to explore deep space,” Underwood added. “ASTRA has great implications for the future of human space exploration, and Stennis is eager to start work with all team members to help NASA meet Artemis mission objectives, to the Moon and beyond.”
HEOMD created an integrated, prioritized list of exploration capability gaps that must be addressed to provide essential safety and operational capabilities for Artemis missions in cislunar space and on the lunar surface. ASTRA will infuse new technologies to close or mitigate multiple HEOMD Tier 1 gaps, specifically related to autonomous operations and health management-capabilities required for long-term sustainability in LEO and beyond, culminating in the spaceflight demonstration and validation of those capabilities on LizzieSat™. The autonomous systems capabilities demonstrated by ASTRA on LizzieSat™ are immediately applicable to multiple Artemis elements. In this way, the ASTRA partnership with Sidus will reduce the time to deploy high-priority capabilities to Artemis missions and reduce risk, program cost, safety issues, and schedule challenges through the successful demonstration of autonomous operations.
Sidus Space is located in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It operates from a 35,000-square-foot manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing facility as a Space-as-a-Service company focused on commercial satellite design, manufacture, launch, and data collection, with a vision to enable space flight heritage status for new technologies and deliver data and predictive analytics to both domestic and global customers. Sidus is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100 Rev. D certified and ITAR registered.