PlantSat Satellite

Spacecraft PlantSat
Spacecraft type CubeSat
Units or mass 3U
Status Reentry 2024-03-04. Was operational (Last SATNOGS report with data from 2022-11-26 last checked on 2022-12-21. SmallSat 2023 presentation.)
Launched 2022-04-01
NORAD ID 52188
Deployer ?
Launcher Falcon 9 (Transporter-4)
Deployment Deployed from D-Orbit ION on 2022-04-12
Entity name University of Chile
Institution University
Entity Academic / Education
Country Chile

Growing a plant in space simulating Mars conditions. Biological payloads, as well as other experiments with graphene-based devices


Monitor the behavior of a plant in a microgravity environment and in extreme conditions of solar radiation.

PlantSat is a contribution to the ongoing human efforts of exploring, understanding and eventually colonizing Mars. Its goal is to study in low earth orbit the growth of a suitable plant, replicating the conditions that life will experience on Mars’ surface. These conditions include low gravity force and high solar radiation.

The proposed plant genus for PlantSat is Tillandsia. This is a hardy genus that can be found all across the neotropics, high up in the mountains of the Andes and down to the shores of the Atacama desert. This hardiness and versatility makes it an excellent candidate for survival in harsh environments.

The satellite will be a 3 units CubeSat with a GomSpace type BUS using a SUCHAI configuration and Flight Software. One of its units will be specially adapted to host a biosphere payload which is under development.

Its development, as SUCHAI, was partially funded internally by FCFM-UCH, partially funded by GomSpace (which provided some satellite components), and partially funded by D-Orbit (which provided the launch). PlantSat was almost a twin satellite of the SUCHAI-2 and SUCHAI-3 CubeSats in terms of the space physics experiments, although it lacks GPS and Langmuir probe payloads. Thus, the three satellites are evaluating the possibility of probing the space environment as a swarm. The miniaturization of the space physics instruments and the architecture developed in our program allowed us to include other experiments later in the development process.

Sources [1] [2] [3]
Photo sources [1] [2] [3]
COTS subsystems
  • PLATFORM - GomSpace
  • OBC - GomSpace NanoMind
  • EPS - GomSpace
  • SOLAR PANELS - GomSpace
  • SUN SENSOR - GomSpace NanoSense FSS
Subsystems sources [1] [2]
On the same launch

Last modified: 2024-05-29

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Created by Erik Kulu


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