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 50 members, with over 75% from the College of Engineering, of which half are in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. We are proud to report that over 50% of our members were placed in an internship or research in the Summer of 2022. 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 a 3U Cube Satellite (CubeSat) into space with a biomanufacturing 3D printer through the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to learn more about 3D printing soft materials in space like food and organ tissue. The cost for a single 3U CubeSat is ~$100K, with a total mission cost of ~$400K.
NASA CSLI is a program that allows teams to design and submit a proposal (November 2022) for a CubeSat to perform an experiment while in orbit. Proposals include a Merit and Feasibility Review conducted by industry and academic experts. NASA accepts proposals (March 2023) and pays for the launch to orbit (~$300K). If accepted, the team will have 1 – 4 years to build and launch the CubeSat; the team is aiming to launch in the Summer of 2024.
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.