On June 21st, the world is going to witness a never-before history as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be launching world’s smallest and lightest satellite, developed by an Indian teen atop its sounding rocket. Stamping the name of India in golden letters, an 18 years old teen – Rifath Sharook, from Tamilnadu, is all set to be a part of NASA’s historic launch on June 21st.
It is the very first time that NASA is piloting a development, done by an Indian student. Developed by Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old, Class-12 student, the satellite, is named after India’s nuclear scientist and former president – APJ Abdul Kalam. With the launch event on 21st June, the class 12 boy will set a new global space record. Here are some more interesting details about this surprising development of the Indian brainchild.
The brain behind the development is Rifath Sharook, a class-12 student from Tamil Nadu’s Pallapatti town. Rifath is only 18 years old and is the first Indian to become a part of world’s premier organisation NASA’s ambitious flight missions.
Named as “KalamSat”, the satellite is appointed to the honour of India’s ex-president, Late APJ Abdul Kalam, who is also one of the world’s most celebrated nuclear scientists.
The satellite weighs only 64 grammes and hence is said to be world’s lightest and smallest satellite. It is so small that it can fit into a cube.
Kalamsat is also the first satellite to be developed via revolutionary “3D printing” technique.
The project got selected by NASA through a competition called ‘Cubes in Space’, which was mutually sponsored by NASA and an organisation, named as ‘I Doodle Learning’. The primary objective of the project is to take the performance of new aeronautics technology to space.
Kalamsat is manufactured using unbreakable carbon fibre polymer and weighs lower than the weight of a smartphone. The criterion of the competition was to develop a satellite, weighing exactly 64 grammes and Rifath Sharook succeeded in creating the structure via 3D Printing method.
The satellite, atop a sounding rocket of NASA, will be launched from a launching facility of NASA in Wallops Island on 21st June.
It will be a sub-orbital flight, and after taking off, the mission will go on for 240 minutes.
After launching, the tiny satellite will operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space and its primary objective will be to exhibit the performance of 3D-printed carbon fibre in the space.
The minuscule satellite has a one-of-its-kind onboard computer and eight indigenous integrated sensors that will measure Earth’s rotation, acceleration, and the magnetosphere.
The experiment and development of Rifath Sharook were sponsored by an organisation named as ‘Space Kidz India’.