ICE Cubes Media Set enjoys first success on the ISS
On 10 April 2022, the president of Israel Isaac Herzog had an interactive videoconference with Eytan Meir Stibbe, a commercial astronaut currently on board the International Space Station for the historical Axiom-1 mission: the first one with a full commercial vehicle and the first commercial crew.
This was not an ordinary event but the culmination of an idea born by the ICE Cubes Team at Space Applications Services: The ICE Cubes Media Set. The ICE Cubes Media Set and the associated Ground Segment are in-house developments of Space Applications Services. This innovative service provides the capability to communicate and interact with the ISS and/or its crew for various activities, including public events as the one conducted with Eytan Stibbe. The audience on ground can be located worldwide and connected via Internet, without the need of special software and lines.
Eytan Stibbe is part of the Israeli Rakia mission on Axiom-1 and also the other three Axiom-1 crew members, Commander Michael López-Alegría and Pilot Larry Connor and mission specialist Mark Patty are making use of the Media Set for the 43 interactive events planned over the 10-day mission.
This is a profound development that, we think, will have significant implications for communication with the International Space Station. While currently there are functional communication channels that run through space agencies, other entities may be limited by the classical and institutional-oriented communication setup. The commercial Media Set service created by Space Applications Services allows for a simplification of the execution of these interactive sessions and overcomes the present limitations.
This innovative service provides the capability to communicate and interact with the ISS and/or its crew for various activities
From conducting tests with webcameras, to researching relevant software, to establishing the smart set up of the ground segment, a lot of teamwork and expertise was necessary for ensuring the current success. The team had to establish how to control the camera from the ground as well as understanding the users and relevant applications that can be used. Different teams at Space Applications such as the ICE Cubes team, the Operations Team, the Flight Systems Division and the Ground Systems and Software Division, all contributed in ensuring that Space Applications Services plays a significant role in this first commercial mission.
It is exciting to be part of something so momentous, but the work is not done. The ICE Cubes Media Set will be used in more than 40 events on board the International Space Station during the Axiom-1 mission. That will not be the end of its use however. The connection has been made. For future missions, the ICE Cubes Media Set will definitely have an important role to play.
Image Credits: ESA, NASA, SpaceApps/ICE Cubes
Screengrab Credits: RAKIA Mission
Special thanks to GoPro
News/Communications & Media/SpaceApps