Spacewalking cosmonauts have set free the world’s first satellite made with a 3-D printer.
Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin (FYOH-dor YOUR-cheek-in) and Sergey Ryazanskiy (SIR-gay RIH-zan-skee) ventured outside the International Space Station on Thursday.
They promptly released five nanosatellites by hand. The casing of the first one tossed overboard was made entirely with a 3-D printer. Researchers want to see how 3-D-made parts weather the space environment. The others have traditional spacecraft parts.
Each weighs 10 to 24 pounds, and is 1 to 2 feet. They’re expected to orbit for six months.
One commemorates the 60th anniversary of the world’s first satellite, Sputnik 1, launched Oct. 4, 1957. Another pays tribute to Russia’s father of rocketry, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (KON-stan-teen SHOAL-koff-skee). He was born 160 years ago next month.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense