As NASA launched its Kalam SAT satellite on Thursday, India created history with it. India once again broke the global space record. Kalam SAT is the lightest smallest satellite weighing only 64gms. Kalam SAT is the only Indian payload in the NASA mission.
Kalam SAT is not designed by any professional space scientists or engineers but by 18-year-old Rifath Sharook of Tamil Nadu and his team. Named after late Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Kalam SAT took the lift-off from the NASA’s Wallop Island around 3pm(IST). Post 125 minutes of lift-off it separated from the rocket. It will actually fly on a sounding rocket and not reach the orbit.
Dr. Kalam, coincidentally had done his training in sounding rocket program at the Wallops Island in 1960’s.
Some interesting facts about Kalam SAT:
Kalam SAT was designed to operate for only 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment. Post which it will fall into the sea. NASA will recover the probe cube and send back to the team for decoding the data.
Kesan with an emotion-choked voice said that the flight was "out of the world and it was a divine intervention." Further explaining "I am calling it divine intervention because the previous Nasa mission from Wallops got postponed because of weather and we were able to launch successfully today."
“The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3D-printed carbon fibre”, Sharook, was quoted as saying by ANI.
“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,” Sharook said.
These 7 students who got selected as a part of competition – “Cubes in space”, had made India proud. The students rejoiced after the launch. “Cubes in space” was coordinated jointly by NASA and another global education company called ‘I doodle learning’. These 6 students created history on 21st June. The team apart from Dr. Srimathy Kesan, Founder & CEO of Space Kidz India and Rifath constitutes of Tanishq Dwivedi (Flight Engineer), Vinay S Bhardwaj (Design Engineer), Yagna Sai (Lead Technician), Mohammed Abdul Kashif (Lead Engineer), Gobinath (Biologist).
The main challenge of the completion was to develop an experiment to be sent to space that fits within a 4-meter cube weighing exactly 64 grams.As per reports, the solution designed by Rifath’s team was chosen more than 86,000 designs submitted by teams across 57 countries. The team had done a lot of research on the design. The components used to build the satellite were mainly Indian made and certain components were brought from abroad.
NASA launched a micro-satellite on Thursday named Kalam SAT, the smallest lightest satellite till date, designed by an 18-year-old Tamilnadu boy. The satellite is named after Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.