Rifath Shaarook, an eighteen-year-old Indian student, has built the lightest satellite in the world. He is all set to break a global space record by launching the satellite that weighs a mere 64 grams.
This lightest satellite, called KalamSat, will be launched by a NASA sounding rocket on June 21 from Wallops Island, a NASA facility. The satellite is named in honor of former President of India and revered scientist, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
According to the teenager, the KalamSat satellite is made of reinforced carbon fiber polymer and can attain sub-orbital flight. The mission will span about 240 minutes, and the satellite will operate for about 12 minutes in a microgravity environment in space.
Sharook said, “The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fiber.”
The teen won a competition titled Cubes in Space, which was jointly organized by NASA and an organization called I Doodle Learning.
Sharook explained, “We 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-meter cube weighing 64 grams.”