Indian teen builds world's 'lightest satellite'

Joan Terry
May 18, 2017

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.

Rifath Sharook's "Kalamsat", named after former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, was the victor of Cubes In Space, a joint competition run by NASA and education company I Doodle Learning.

The 18-year-old says its main goal was to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fibre. However, none of them managed to make one as small and as light as an Indian teenager did.

The brain behind the development is Rifath Sharook, a class-12 student from Tamil Nadu's Pallapatti town. Also it is due for launch in June at NASA Facilty.

It will be a sub-orbital flight, and after taking off, the mission will go on for 240 minutes. Once positioned properly in microgravity, the durability of its 3D-printed casing will be tested.

"We designed it completely from scratch", he said.

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"It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight. built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation, and the magnetosphere of Earth". This event is being organized by education company idoodle and has backing from NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.

The 18-year-old reportedly spent two years on the project, leading a team of six people.

Rifath Sharook, who is from Tamil Nadu, India, made the pocket-sized satellite for a competition called Cubes in Space, which is an worldwide design challenge that asks students aged 11 to 18 to fit their space-worthy invention inside a 13-foot cube. And, most importantly, it had to be space-worthy. Sharook's invention is that and more.

Kalamsat is manufactured using unbreakable carbon fibre polymer and weighs lower than the weight of a smartphone.

This is not the first time Sharook has invented something unique.

Other reports by BadHub

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