The CubeSat PicSat carrying an amateur radio FM transponder was launched on the same PSLV-C40 flight from India that delivered AO-92 to orbit.
PicSat is a nano-satellite aimed at observing the transit of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b in front of its bright and equally young star Beta Pictoris, and at demonstrating an innovative technological concept to use optical fibres for astronomical observations from Space.
On board the tiny spacecraft is an experiment, part of the QB50 project, designed to “explore the lower thermosphere, for re-entry research and in-orbit demonstration of technologies and miniaturised sensors”, as reported in earlier editions of the WIA broadcast.
The amateur radio CubeSat Tomsk-TPU-120 may be deployed during a Russian spacewalk (EVA) in July 2017.
The satellite was developed by students at the Tomsk Polytechnic University to test new space materials technology and is the world’s first space vehicle with a 3D-printed structure. It was launched from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to the ISS on March 31, 2016 in a Progress-MS-2 cargo vessel.