3D Printing Industry reports on the successful launch of Russia’s first 3D printed spacecraft. This launch was carried out by cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin:
“During a spacewalk from the International Space Station with fellow Roscomos cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, [Yurchikhin]” deployed the Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite by hand. The 3D printed satellite will spend the next 5 months in the void of space.
The Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite “has no engines, and exposed to the gravitational pull of the Earth’s gravity, its orbit will decay, eventually burning up in the atmosphere.” This nanosatellite, or “CubeSat, has a 3D printed hull, and numerous parts and components are 3D printed. The satellite measures approximately 300 x 100 x 100 mm, and also uses an electric battery, which reportedly has made use of 3D printing with zirconium for the first time ever.”
“Alongside the temperature sensors and other monitoring equipment, the satellite is equipped with a transmitter that will broadcast a recorded message. The greeting was recorded by students of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), where the satellite was designed and made. The signal is repeated in 10 languages – including English – every minute at the frequency of 145.8 MHz and 437.025 MHz.”
As TPU Rector Petr Chubik explained following the launch: “I have unusual feelings because the world’s first 3D printed nanosatellite, [complete] with [a] Tomsk Polytechnic University label went into outer space. The event we waited for a year and a half has just taken place…This is a truly historic event.”
Vladimir Solntsev, the Director General of RSC Energia, one of TPU’s partners on the project, concluded: “now Tomsk can call itself ‘a space land’.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry