Indian teen builds world’s ‘lightest satellite ‘KalamSat to be lunch on 21st June by NASA from Wallops Island
An Indian teenager has built what is thought could be the world’s lightest satellite, which will be launched at a Nasa facility in the US in 21st June. Rifath Shaarook’s 64-gram (0.14 lb) device was selected as the winner in a youth design competition. The 18-year-old says its main purpose was to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fibre. Rifath told local media his invention will go on a four-hour mission for a sub-orbital flight.During that time, the lightweight satellite will operate for around 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space.”We designed it completely from scratch,” he said. “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the earth.”The satellite has been named KalamSat after former Indian president Abdul Kalam, a pioneer for the country’s aeronautical science ambitions.His project was selected in a challenge called Cubes in Space, organised by education company idoodle with support from Nasa and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.Newcomer scientist Rifath comes from a small town in Tamil Nadu and now works as lead scientist at Chennai-based Space Kidz India, an organisation promoting science and education for Indian children and teenagers.The KalamSat is not his first invention: at the age of 15, he built a helium weather balloon as a part of nationwide competition for young scientists.
Key features of the miniature satellite
Sharook said it would be a sub-orbital flight and after launch the mission span would be 240 minutes. The tiny satellite would operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space. “The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3D-printed carbon fibre”, the Times of India quoted Sharook as saying.Speaking about his experience, Sharook added: “We designed it completely from scratch. It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the earth. The main challenge was to design an experiment to be flown to space which would fit into a four-metre cube weighing 64 grammes”.‘KalamSat’, named after India’s nuclear scientist and former President, APJ Abdul Kalam, will be launched from a Nasa facility in Wallops Island on 21st June .. Sharook’s project, ‘Cubes in Space’, sponsored jointly by NASA and ‘I Doodle Learning’. The project aims to take the performance of new technology to space