First in the history of Russian space industry satellite fully printed on 3D printed soon will be deployed from International Space Station.
The Tomsk-TPU-120 satellite was delivered to ISS in Spring 2016 and it seems that it finally will be deployed. Yesterday, on Monday July 24, crew members begun to prepare Tomsk to deployment planned for August 17, 2017. TPU-120, which measures 11 cm x 11 cm x 30 cm and weighs 5 kg was tested by crew members. Batteries were charged from ISS internal power system and all its subsystems were successfully checked.
Satellite will operate after deployment from 400 km × 400 km, inclined at 51.6° orbit for around 6 months powered by solar arrays placed around its cubic (3U sized) structure.
Satellite was designed by Tomsk Polytechnic University in the collaboration with the Energiya Aerospace Corporation and the Institute for Studies of the Physics of Strength and Material Engineering of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Siberia. Its main structure, where all instruments and solar arrays were installed, was printed on 3D printer.
Satellite will measure temperature and continuously monitor parameters of its electronic components. Gathered data will be used for designing nanosatellites in future.
On picture above: sample of 3D printed 1U Cubesat satellite structure.