In a historical move that will give GenerationNext in a significant boost, the US space agency NASA launched what has been dubbed as the world’s lightest satellite. What is more, it has been built by an 18-year old Tamil Nadu student and his team. The boy’s name is Rifath Sharook and the satellite has been called Kalamsat, after the most popular former President APJ Abdul Kalam who was himself one of the most distinguished scientists in India. The little satellite weighs in at just about 64 grams. This tiny satellite was flown into space in a NASA rocket from a facility in Wallops Island, according to news agency ANI.
As per ANI, the satellite was launched on a sounding rocket from a NASA facility in Wallops Island. With this launch, India has created a record. Sharook, while speaking to the agency said that the achievement would not have been possible without the support of his team. “It’s a 3-D printed satellite. It is for the first time that 3-D printing technology is being used in space. We have made history. The world’s smallest satellite has been launched in space. It was not possible without my team,” he was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
Earlier talking to DNA, Sharook said that when in November last year, NASA announced its contest Cubes in Space in partnership with the global education company, I Doodle Learning, his team had decided to participate. Before participating, the team designed a 1 kg cubesat. However, after realising that it was too costly to build, the group decided to make a smaller version for the contest and made changes in the satellite as per the norms and came up with ‘KalamSat’.
You may also like to watch this video
After the satellite was built, the team then conducted research to launch the satellite and came across a concept of BalloonSats, which was designed to carry lightweight experiments into near-space. That was how the group created Near Space Launch Vehicle (NSLV) to launch KalamSat. The project was submitted in January, and in April they were informed by NASA informed that the satellite would be launched on June 21.