When we first think about satellites, the first thing that comes to mind would likely be something similar to the international space station with a full length of 109 meters. That’s almost equivalent to the length Science Centre Singapore’s Omnitheatre building (end to end)!
But not all satellites are the size of buildings. Some could be as small as the size of your arm. The Zeus-1 is a nano satellite designed and built in Singapore, our very own little red dot. It was launched on December 18, 2022 onboard a SpaceX Rideshare from Florida.
Singaporean companies that contributed to Zeus-1 include a 3D printing service provider Creatz3D, and manufacturers QOSMOSYS and NuSpace.
SMALL, MIGHTY, AND EFFICIENT
With 3D-printed parts, the nanosatellite weighs only 362 grams, more than 50% lighter than if it were built with conventional materials, and is much cheaper. The 3 companies also worked on developing a casing with high chemical resistance and low outgassing properties. The latter is due to an issue whereby gear release gas when battling the pressure of operating in space. Less gas released = less gas trapped + fewer damages to nearby parts.
Science Centre Singapore’s production team managed to visit NuSpace during Zeus-1’s development.
If you have a passion for Space, visit Science Centre Singapore from 17-18 March for our Space Festival: Dot in Space! We have also launched our new science cafe series where you can mingle and dine with experts — 17 March being experts from the Space industry. Tickets for Science Cafe here! You could chat with the founder of NUSpace!
Written by Lydia Konig
Graphics by Liaw Jia Xuan