About

The roadmap

How does it work?

Get Started!

Tell us about your experiment and research goals by contacting us via email or filling in your flight form. We are open for everything, from a wild idea to a ready-to-fly experiment

Feasibility

We will evaluate the feasibility of your experiment and help you define the system / operational requirements and possible launch windows. You will receive the necessary documents to design your experiment inside an ICE Cube

Development

You can develop your own experiment in one of the standard form factors. For this, you will use the set of interface standards, safety requirements and guidelines defined by the service. We will collect from you the information and data necessary to obtain the safety and flight readiness certification. Our standard service will provide you with limited assistance during payload development. We can, however, offer you additional assistance in design, development and/or verification of the payload if you would want it.

Integrated Tests

Our ground model of the ICE Cubes facility, will be available at Space Applications for you to perform integrated tests for verification of all interface requirements and operational procedures.

Agency and Launcher Contact

We will arrange all the reviews of your payload to have it ready to launch. We book your flight and take care of the launch administration. As our customer, you only have to be in contact with us, we will do the rest for you

Launch!

Once all the steps above have been completed, it is finally time! T-3…2…1…Lift off!

In-Flight

Upon arrival at the International Space Station, your Experiment Cube will be installed into the ICE Cubes Facility ready for operation. When it is time to start your experiment, the ICE Cubes Mission Control Centre will activate and pass on control to you so you can run your experiment according to your predefined operations plan and directly monitor and control your experiment.

Mission Complete!

Congratulations! It is time to analyse your results

Return / Disposal

You have completed your Experiment Cubes mission! Now you may choose to either have the Experiment Cube returned to you or dispose it. In any case, you will receive all resulting flight data

Your Idea

We would like to hear about it.
Please fill in the Form and talk with us about the feasibility of your experiment.

Your Experiment Cubes

Each Experiment Cube may be built with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components, which significantly reduces the cost and duration of development and allows for the utilisation of the latest technologies.

As a customer, you will maintain ownership of both hardware and software at all times. You will develop and integrate your experiment and be responsible for the reliability and performance of your Experiment Cube.

Experiment Cube Requirements

Each Experiment Cube must be developed according to a set of interface and safety requirements specified by ICE Cubes Service. The basic size of an Experiment Cube is 1U (10cm x 10cm x 10cm). However, other form factors and customised dimensions are possible.

Launch Service

The Experiment Cubes will be launched in soft stowed configuration, contained inside Nomex® foam containers.

Operation and Control

While in orbit, you will be able to interact with your Experiment Cube at your location of choice in near real-time by using our complimentary mission control software.

Depending on your specific needs, experiment data can be provided in several ways:

  • Downlinked in near real-time or deferred to a later time.
  • Or physically downloaded with a return vehicle from orbit via USB storage media.

The duration of a typical mission in orbit is 4 months. Different durations can be agreed. Longer periods are possible. At the end of your mission, your Experiment Cube can be returned to you or be disposed in orbit.

In order to have full control over your own Experiment Cubes, you will be provided with an out-of-the-box software suite composed of:

  • VPN Client
  • FTP Client
  • Web Browser
  • Mission Control System Client
  • User Manual

The Mission Control System software is written in-house by Space Applications Services, ensuring fast and accurate support if needed.

ICE Cubes Mission Control

The Mission Control will monitor the status of your experiment.

ICE Cubes Facility

The ICE Cubes Framework accommodates Experiment Cubes and hosts the functional interfaces to the ISS infrastructure. The use of a sliding Framework and “plug-and-play” Experiment Cubes simplifies the system, thus minimising crew time for installation/removal.

The ICE Cubes Service is a development of

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