The countdown has begun and the American space research agency NASA is all set to launch the world’s smallest and the lightest satellite from its facility in Wallops Island, Virginia on June 21, 2017. Dubbed as ‘KalamSat’, the tiny satellite has been developed by an 18-year-old Indian teenage boy Rifath Shaarook, whose project got selected through a competition called ‘Cubes in Space’ which is jointly sponsored by NASA and iDoodle Learning and is aimed to take innovative projects by school children into space.
KalamSat has been named after former Indian President and nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam and it will be taking a sub-orbital flight once the mission is launching, spending 240 minutes in space. The tiny satellite that weighs just 64 grammes would operate for 12 minutes in microgravity to demonstrate the durability of 3D printed carbon fibre in space. It has eight indigenously built-in sensors on board that would measure the rotation, acceleration and the magnetosphere of the Earth.
As mentioned earlier, the satellite has been developed by wonder kid Rifath Sharook who hails from a small town called in Tamil Nadu and works as a lead scientist at Chennai-based Space Kids India, an organisation that works towards promoting art, science and culture among school kids in India.
However, KalamSat is not Sharook’s only invention. Apart from the tiny satellite, he has also created a helium weather balloon, several robots and rovers and designed a series of satellites. He also developed a small satellite weighing just 1 Kg before entering and winning the contest.