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Indian Teen Builds World’s Smallest Satellite ‘KalamSat’ That Will Be Launched By NASA

First Posted: May 18, 2017 04:23 AM EDT
KalamSat
Indian teen develops world's smallest satellite for NASA.
(Photo : all in one/YouTube screenshot)

An Indian teenager has reportedly created the world’s lightest and smallest satellite for the American space agency, NASA. Twelfth-grade student Rifath Sharook who belongs to Pallapatti town, which is located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, has built the KalamSat that weighs just 0.1 kilogram.

According to a News Nation report, the U.S. space agency will launch KalamSat into space next month. A rocket will carry the satellite from a NASA facility in Wallops Island on June 21. Sharook has said that KalamSat will be a sub-orbital flight and the mission span will be 240 minutes after launch. The tiny satellite will function for 12 minutes in the micro-gravity environment of space.

"The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fibre," Sharook said, according to India Today. "We did a lot of research on different cube satellites all over the world and found ours was the lightest."

The 18-year-old boy said that he took part in a competition called Cubes in Space that was jointly held by the U.S. space agency and an organization called idoodlelearning. The main challenge that he faced in the competition was developing an experiment to be sent to space that fitted into a 4-meter cube weighing exactly 64 grams. He created the satellite mainly with reinforced carbon fiber polymer. His project is the first to be produced via 3D printing.

The satellite was designed from scratch. The teenager also added that it will have a new type of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors for measuring the magnetosphere, rotation and acceleration of the Earth. Incidentally, the satellite -- KalamSat -- is named after former president of India, APJ Abdul Kamal, who was a nuclear scientist. The satellite has been funded by an organization called Space Kidz India.

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