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Mission typeAstronomy
OperatorGraz University of Technology
COSPAR ID2013-009F
SATCAT no.39091
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerUniversity of Toronto
Launch mass7 kilograms (15 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date25 February 2013, 12:31 (2013-02-25UTC12:31Z) UTC
RocketPSLV-CA C20
Launch siteSatish Dhawan FLP
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Perigee altitude776 kilometres (482 mi)
Apogee altitude790 kilometres (490 mi)
Inclination98.62 degrees
Period100.37 minutes
Epoch8 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. 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. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  5. ^ "About NLS-8". UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  6. ^ "PSLV-C20 on FLP". UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory. 21 February 2013. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  7. ^ Clark, Stephen (25 February 2013). "Ocean monitor, smartphone satellite launched from India". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 26 February 2013.