Indian boy develops world’s ‘smallest’ satellite for NASA

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NASA to launch world’s lightest satellite built by Chennai student on June 21.

Claimed to be the world’s smallest satellite and a first to be manufactured via 3D printing, ‘Kalam Sat’ will be launched on an SR-4 rocket from Wallops Space Flight facility at Virginia, USA.

Mohamed Rifath Sharook built the satellite as part of a contest organized by the US space agency. The satellite, named Kalam SAT – after former India President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam – weighs 0.1 kg, and is lighter than a smart phone.

The satellite that weighs just 64 grams was among 80 models selected among 86,000 designs submitted by young contestants belonging to 57 countries in the “Cubes in Space” contest organized by Idoodle Learning in association with NASA. It is the only model selected from India to be launched by SR 4 rocket.

Mohamed Rifath said the satellite, which is made of reinforced carbon fibre polymer, will act as a technology demonstrator in its 12-minute flight and provide impetus to plan economical space missions in future – Representational Image (Wikimedia Commons)

18-year-old Mohamed Rifath Sharoo from Chennai, built the satellite as part of a contest Cubes in Space, organized by US space agency, NASA and idoodle learning Inc, a global education company.. The satellite, named Kalam SAT – after former India President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam – weighs 0.1 kg, and is lighter than a smart phone.

Mohamed Sharook said the satellite, which is made of reinforced carbon fibre polymer, will act as a technology demonstrator in its 12-minute flight and provide impetus to plan economical space missions in future.

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“I am eagerly awaiting the launch of our satellite. It will be a big day for not only me but also for the aspiring space scientists,” says a beaming Shaarook, who lost his father Mohamed Farook when he was studying in Class-V at a government primary school in Pallapatti.

The satellite with sensors would carry out its mission from the moment of its launch. It would be in sub-orbital spaceflight for 12 minutes and would then land back in the ocean.

Mohamed Sharook isn’t new to innovation. In 2015, he launched a 1,200g helium weather balloon from a ground in Kelambakkam.

It has also been reported that NASA will be launching this satellite into space on June 21.

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