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Mission type Astronomy
Operator Graz University of Technology
COSPAR ID 2013-009F
SATCAT № 39091
Spacecraft properties
Manufacturer University of Toronto
Launch mass 7 kilograms (15 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date 25 February 2013, 12:31 (2013-02-25UTC12:31Z) UTC
Rocket PSLV-CA C20
Launch site Satish Dhawan FLP
Contractor ISRO
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Perigee 776 kilometres (482 mi)
Apogee 790 kilometres (490 mi)
Inclination 98.62 degrees
Period 100.37 minutes
Epoch 8 November 2013, 11:26:32 UTC[1]

TUGSAT-1, also known as BRITE-Austria and CanX-3B, is the first Austrian satellite. It is an optical astronomy spacecraft operated by the Graz University of Technology as part of the international BRIght-star Target Explorer programme.


TUGSAT-1 was manufactured by the University of Toronto based on the Generic Nanosatellite Bus, and had a mass at launch of 7 kilograms (15 lb)[2] (plus another 7 kg for the XPOD separation system). The spacecraft is cube-shaped, with each side measuring 20 centimetres (7.9 in).[3] The satellite will be used, along with five other spacecraft, to conduct photometric observations of stars with apparent magnitude of greater than 4.0 as seen from Earth.[4] TUGSAT-1 was one of the first two BRITE satellites to be launched, along with the Austro-Canadian UniBRITE-1 spacecraft. Four more satellites, two Canadian and two Polish, were launched at later dates.


The TUGSAT-1 spacecraft was launched through the University of Toronto's Nanosatellite Launch System programme, as part of the NLS-8 launch, along with UniBRITE-1 and AAUSAT3.[5] The NLS-8 launch was subcontracted to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who placed the satellites into orbit using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in the PSLV-CA configuration, flying from the First Launch Pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.[6] The NLS spacecraft were secondary payloads on the rocket, whose primary mission was to deploy the Franco-Indian SARAL ocean research satellite. Canada's Sapphire and NEOSSat-1 spacecraft, and the United Kingdom's STRaND-1, were also carried by the same rocket under separate launch contracts.[2] The launch took place at 12:31 UTC on 25 February 2013, and the rocket deployed all of its payloads successfully.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Peat, Chris (8 November 2013). "CANX 3B (BRITE-ASRA) - Orbit". Heavens Above. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "PSLV-C20/SARAL Mission" (PDF). Indian Space Research Organisation. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "System Overview". TUGSAT Web Portal. Graz University of Technology. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Science Goals". BRITE Executive Science Team. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "About NLS-8". UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "PSLV-C20 on FLP". UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory. 21 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013. 
  7. ^ Clark, Stephen (25 February 2013). "Ocean monitor, smartphone satellite launched from India". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 26 February 2013.