EFTP Successfully Retrieved Back from the ISS

Sidus Space, Inc (Sidus), formally known as Craig Technologies Aerospace Solutions, is pleased to announce the return of EFTP, their on-orbit external experimental facility hosted on the NanoRacks International Space Station External Platform (NREP).

Sidus’s Flight Test Platform (EFTP), 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
  • Volume: ~ 18U
  • Payloads are not required to conform to standard CubeSat footprints
  • Typical mission duration: 15-24 weeks

EFTP was launched back in November 2019 aboard the Northrop Grumman Cygnus (NG-12) mission. A month after its arrival on December 19th, 2019, EFTP was deployed outside the ISS to raise the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) of new materials and electronics inside the platform being tested. After 9 months of in-orbit testing, EFTP returned inside the ISS on September 3rd, 2020. EFTP was then transported back to Earth aboard the SpX-21 Cargo Dragon Capsule.

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