Cosmonauts release 3D-printed satellite

Cosmonauts release 3D-printed satellite

Cosmonauts release 3D-printed satellite

(Mercury News, 08/17/17)

Spacewalking cosmonauts set free the world’s first satellite made almost entirely with a 3-D printer on Thursday.

In total, Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin and Sergey Ryazanskiy ended up releasing five nanosatellites by hand. One by one, the tiny craft — no more than 1 to 2 feet in size — tumbled safely away from the International Space Station.

The exterior casing of the first one tossed overboard was made with a 3-D printer. So were the battery packs inside. Researchers want to see how 3-D-made parts weather the space environment.

The 3-D satellite contains regular electronics. It also holds greetings to planet Earth in a variety of languages, courtesy of students at Siberia’s Tomsk Polytechnic University, where the satellite was made.

The other satellites deployed Thursday have traditional spacecraft parts.

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