PSP Sats is a student-led team
with the goal of building a pipeline
of workforce-ready professionals.
Purdue Space Program (PSP) Satellites (Sats) is a team of students with a vision to build and launch multiple satellites for corporate and academic experiments through NASA CSLI or other launch service programs.
The team is made up of 150+ members, with over 80% from the College of Engineering, of which half are in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. We are proud to report that over 70% of our members were placed in an internship or research in the Summer of 2023. PSP-Sats is the only non-rocket team in PSP. PSP is a 501(c)(3) through Purdue, and is a SEDS chapter affiliated and advised by Purdue University and Zucrow Propulsion Laboratory.
Our project mission is to build and launch multiple Cube Satellites (CubeSats) to test a student-designed set of tools, called Neil’s Toolbox, that will be used while living and working in space. Named after our favorite astronaut, Neil Armstrong, this experiment will focus on the development of three tools: a friction milling tool, additive manufacturing tool, and soldering tool, with the long term vision to apply ideas of in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing through an interchangeable tool head.
Each tool will be tested in its own in-house manufactured CubeSat. The mission requires a total of 5 CubeSats, with each CubeSat costing ~$200K. The experimental payload is ~$300K, with a total mission cost of ~$1.3M. The team aims to complete prototypes for the tools by Fall 2023, a technology demonstration in Spring 2024, with the aim to launch by Spring 2025.
Members benefit in various ways, such as learning and applying industry tools, hardware, and software like AGI STK, Autodesk CAD, EAGLE PCB, Python, MATLAB, 3D printers, Slack, MS Office, etc., to gain real-world work experience.
Members utilize industry standards and practices to ensure that members are industry-ready, such as a systems engineering approach, trade studies, decision matrices, Gantt chart, weekly meetings, similar organizational structures like most companies, WBS packages, etc.
Members also gain knowledge and resources through industry and academic experts like professors researching manufacturing and satellites, fabrication and testing facilities, etc.
Members gain professional development through collaboration, communication, and networking through cross-functional teamwork, contacting suppliers, resume workshops, career advice, etc.