The first Russian-made 3D-printed satellite called the Tomsk-TPU-120, is making its journey to the International Space Station on Thursday.
According to President of Rocket and Space Corporation Energia Vladimir Solntsev, the satellite designed by the Tomsk Polytechnic University students will be placed in orbit after reaching the ISS.
The satellite is designed to orbit at 400 km. The operation is estimated to last about half a year.
The satellite will serve to test new technology in the field of space materials. It is equipped with sensors that will record the temperature of the parts that make up the satellite including the plates, batteries and board, while electronics data will also be monitored. The data will be transmitted to Earth where scientists hope to examine the condition of the satellite and how it holds up in the space environment. The findings will then be analysed and used to determine whether such material and techniques used to build the satellite could be transferred to the construction of larger equipment, such as space craft and shuttles.