A team of students from Tamil Nadu has made India proud as US space agency NASA has launched the worldâ€™s smallest satellite built by them. The students were seen rejoicing after the launch of the satellite that weighs just 64 grams.
Rifath Sharook, an Indian teenager hailing from Tamil Naduâ€™s Pallapatti, had created the smallest and lightest satellite in the world for USâ€™s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The 18-year-old has broken a global space record by launching the satellite named KalamSat.
History was made on June 21, when a NASA sounding rocket carried the KalamSat from Wallops Island, a NASA facility. History has been created as an Indian studentâ€™s experiment has been carried out by NASA for the first time.
According to Rifath, the satellite is a sub-orbital flight and the mission span was 240 minutes post launch. The little satellite operated for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space.Â
"The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fibre," Rifath had said earlier.Â
Rifath said he participated in a competition 'Cubes in Space' jointly organised by NASA and an organisation called 'I Doodle Learning' and his satellite was selected.
The main challenge in the competition was to develop an experiment to be sent to space that fits into a four-metre cube weighing exactly 64 grams.
"We did a lot of research on different cube satellites all over the world and found ours was the lightest," he was quoted as saying by TOI.Â
Rifath said reinforced carbon fibre polymer is mainly used to create the satellite. "We obtained some of the components from abroad and some are indigenous," he said.
Chennai: Students who built the world's smallest satellite, rejoice after its launch. The satellite weighing 64 grams was launched by NASA. pic.twitter.com/ak7NP9KzUOâ€” ANI (@ANI_news) June 22, 2017
As the name of the satellite suggests, â€˜KalamSatâ€™ is named after Indiaâ€™s nuclear scientist and former President, APJ Abdul Kalam. Rifathâ€™s project is the first to be manufactured via 3D printing.
Speaking about his experience, Rifath added: â€œWe designed it completely from scratch. It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the earth. The main challenge was to design an experiment to be flown to space which would fit into a four-metre cube weighing 64 grammesâ€.
An organisation called â€˜Space Kidz Indiaâ€™ funded the satellite, said Rifathâ€™s.