TOMSK, Jan 9 – RIA Tomsk. Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) to send to the International Space Station (ISS) a 3D printer for printing with composite materials, a device that strengthens portholes with nanocoating, and housings for a swarm of satellites in 2021, the director of TPU School of Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Aleksei Yakovlev told RIA Tomsk.
It was previously reported that TPU scientists in 2019 as part of the "Space Information Systems and Technologies" Research and Education Center (REC) plan to create 10 satellite bodies on a 3D printer and launch them into space.
"The Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia approved the program (of experiments). We received letters from RSC Energia to begin the contracting process. We were waiting for the approval of the experiment program, funding will come from RSC Energia in 2020, this money will be enough for experiments on the ISS", - Yakovlev said, without specifying the amount of funding.
Three experiments of TPU
The specialist noted that in total TPU scientists will conduct three experiments. Firstly, they will create the first 3D printer that prints with composite materials and allows to create particularly durable and lightweight tools from polymer composite materials with reinforcement on board the station. In the future, this printer is planned to be tested in space.
Within the framework of the second "Peresvet" experiment, a multilayer nanocomposite coating will be applied to the ISS portholes, which protects the glass from space debris and micrometeorites.
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The scientist added that the task of the third experiment - is to print 10 satellite bodies. “Skoltech is the head company - we are one of the 15 participants. Our main task - is to print satellite bodies, which we specialize in, as the only ones we have NASA and Roskosmos certificates for nanosatellites. The rest of the consortium participants will be engaged in their filling”, - Yakovlev noted .
By the end of 2021, Tomsk scientists will create models of equipment for printing, conduct tests on Earth, make adjustments to the documentation, draw up tasks for astronauts on new equipment and make two devices for each experiment. The first copies will be used in space, and the second - to be on Earth. All equipment will go to the ISS at the end of 2021.
It was also reported that the "Tomsk-TPU-120" satellite - is the first spacecraft printed on a 3D printer; in addition to TPU, S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia and Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (ISPMS SB RAS) took part in its creation. The satellite launched into Earth orbit on August 17, 2017. From orbit, it sends a message to the peoples, recorded by TPU students in 11 languages. Radio amateurs can hear it anywhere in the world.