TPU to Launch World’s First 3D-printed Satellite

A 3D-printed satellite assembled at Tomsk Polytechnic University is scheduled to launch from the International Space Station (ISS) to the 120th anniversary of the school. TPU handled the satellite to RSC “Energia”, where final preparations will take place for shipment to the Baikonur Cosmodrome. “Tomsk-TPU-120” satellite delivery on the ISS will be held on 31 March.

On March 31 from Baikonur Cosmodrome it is scheduled to launch a cargo spacecraft “Progress MS-02”, which will bring TPU satellite on the International Space Station.

During the next spacewalk ISS astronauts will launch the satellite from the outer surface of the station. The satellite will orbit at 400 km. The term of its operation in space will last about six months.

The TPU satellite refers to nanosatellites (CubSat) and has dimensions of 300x100x100 mm. It will be the world's first space vehicle, which housing was 3D-printed. In the future, the technology can be a breakthrough in the creation of small satellites and make them more massive and accessible.

The device was designed in the TPU scientific and educational center “Modern production technologies”. Materials of which made the satellite, were developed by scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science.

The TPU satellite was built to test new technology of space materials science and a series of the university developments and its partners.

The housing is made of approved by Roscosmos materials using 3D-printing technology. 

Various sensors will record the temperature of the board, the plates and batteries, electronics data. These data will be transmitted to Earth in real time mode. According to the data, scientists will be able to analyze the condition of the materials and decide whether they will be used in the construction of the prospective spacecrafts.

To be reminded that in May 2016 Tomsk Polytechnic University celebrates 120 years since its foundation. Therefore, according to polytechnicer idea, the satellite “Tomsk-TPU-120” will have to transmit a greeting to Earth inhabitants, recorded by students of the university in 10 languages: Russian, English, German, French, Chinese, Arabic, Tatar, Indian, Kazakh and Portuguese.

The greeting signal will be transmitted once a minute at the frequency 437.025 MHz.

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01 March 2016

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