The TuPOD free-flying CubeSat deployer re-entered the atmosphere on September 8, 2017 after close to nine months in orbit following deployment from the International Space Station. Three days after release, TuPOD released two TubeSat nano satellites from Brazil and California.
NORAD ID: 41936
Type: 3U CubeSat
Launch: Aboard HTV-6 Cargo Spacecraft
Launch Date: December 9, 2016 – 13:26:47 UTC
Launch Vehicle: H-IIB
Launch Site: Tanegashima Space Center, Japan
Released from ISS: January 16, 2017 – 10:50 UTC
TubeSat Release: January 19, 2017 – ~23:30 UTC
Re-Entry Prediction: September 8, 2017 – 01:15 UTC +/- 120 Minutes
Re-Entry Zone: Unknown
Technical Description: TuPOD is a 3U CubeSat Deployment System developed by Gauss Srl. to deploy a pair of TubeSat picosatellites after released by a standard 3U deployer. The entire structure of TuPOD was 3D printed and the satellite uses a simple battery-powered system that activates at the deployment of the satellite. The two picosatellites will be deployed three days after release from ISS in accordance with NASA regulations.
After releasing its two payloads, TuPOD will continue transmitting a Morse code beacon until exhausting its batteries. When the two satellites have been released, TuPOD is essentially a light-weight hollow cylinder, creating a relatively fast orbital decay to a harmless destructive re-entry.