Kalamsat: ISRO launches India’s lightest satellite made by students – Here’s what it will do

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Updated: January 25, 2019 12:45:09 PM

The fourth stage of the rocket with co-passenger Kalamsat, a students' payload, would now be moved to a higher circular orbit

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Marking the first launch of 2019, ISRO workhorse Polar rocket blasted off from the first launchpad at 11.37 pm at the end of a 28-hour countdown and soared into the clear and starry night sky on January 24.

The four-stage PSLV-C44 soared into the sky and injected the 740-kg Microsat-R into orbit precisely 13 minutes and 30 seconds later. The fourth stage of the rocket with co-passenger Kalamsat, a students’ payload, would now be moved to a higher circular orbit, around 450 kms from earth, so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments. It would take 90 minutes for the fourth stage to reach the desired orbit.

Kalamsat is said to be the lightest satellite of India. An experimental satellite, it has been built at a cost of around Rs 12 lakh and will be used for studying the communication system of nanosatellites, which can be useful in many fields, predominantly disaster management.

Contributed by college students and the members of a Chennai-based organisation- Space Kidz India- Kalamsat is the first to use PS4 (the fourth stage of the vehicle) as a platform to orbit around the earth. PS4 is made out of aluminium tanks in order to reduce cost of PSLV.

“We have been working on the project for over six years now. These students are from various backgrounds and the youngest one is studying B.Sc Physics,” Space Kidz India CEO Srimathy Kesan told PTI. Kesan added that Kalamsat is a 10cm cube, 1.2 kg communication satellite with a life span of two months.

Congratulating students for working on Kalamsat, ISRO Chairman K Sivan urged students to bring science experiments to the space agency. “ISRO is an Indian property and open to all students of the country. I request you bring your science experiments, and plug in to PS4. We will launch and you don’t worry. You do science research and make science oriented,” PTI quoted Sivan as saying.

It is for the first time that the ISRO placed a satellite-Microsat-R-in a lower orbit, at around 274 kms from earth. Microsat-R, an imaging satellite, is meant for military purposes, but the ISRO did not give any details about it.

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