The PrintSat mission is a technology demonstration to access the effectiveness of additive manufacturing (i.e. 3D printing) and the Windform XT material for use as a material for space structures.
The primary objectives of the PrintSat mission are:
- Demonstrate the use of additive manufacturing for primary and secondary structural elements for spacecraft
- Acquire measurements from several on-board sensors to quantify changes in the material properties through out the mission lifetime
- Develop insight into using additive manufacturing in a rapid build and production environment for space missions.
PrintSat is a 1U CubeSat weighing less than 1kg. It carries several on-board sensors to help assess changes in the properties of the Windform material caused by exposure to the space environment. These sensors include and torsional strain gauge, surface resistivity monitor and a radiation microdosimeter
PrintSat was lost in a launch failure of the experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle on November 3, 2015. The U.S. Air Force issued the following statement:
"The ORS-4 mission on an experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle failed in mid-flight shortly after liftoff at 5:45 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time (7:45 p.m. PST; 10:45 p.m. EST) today from the Pacific Missile Range Facility off Barking Sands, Kauai, Hawaii. Additional information will be released as it becomes available."
Plans for a re-flight of the mission are being evaluated.
Image of the flight-ready PrintSat spacecraft
- PrintSat transmits 9600bps with GMSK encoding at 437.325 MHz. Initial beacon cadence will be 60 seconds.