KalamSat-World’s lightest satellite designed by Indian students
An 18-year-old Rifat Sharook and his team from Tamil Nadu designed and built the KalamSat world’s lightest satellite which is selected in NASA’s competition. NASA announced cubes in space contest in November 2016 with the collaboration of global education company.
Kesan and her team decided to participate in cubes in space contest and came up with the idea of the lightest satellite.”We are the subscribers of NASA Education Express magazine, a newsletter from NASA that provides students with information about all their contests and space-related programs, and that’s how we came to know about the NASA’s Cubes in Space contest,” says the Sharook,
Sharook and his team designed a 1KG cube satellite, but after the realizing the high expense to build it, they decided to make it smaller and lightweight. After changing so many designs and alterations, they came up with a smaller version of the Cube satellite and named it as KalamSat. “We altered our satellite according to the NASA contest rules and regulations and came up with smaller KalamSat.”
On completion of the project, Sharook and his team want to test it by launching into space so finally, they came up with the concept of BallonSats launch. Sharook and his team designed a lightweight space carrier called ‘Near space launch vehicle (NSLV)” to launch KalamSat.
Along with the KalamSat project, there were other 79 projects submitted for NASA cubes in space contest on January 2017, after reviewing all submitted projects NASA announced KalamSat project as a contest winner and also NASA accepted the satellite launched on June 21 from Wallops Island.
This might be the first time in history when a major space organization NASA accepted for the launch of smallest satellite made by Indian students. KalamSat lead scientist Sharook said, ‘Me and my team have been communicating with the NASA scientists online, and they are encouraging and quite supportive.’
As we said, KalamSat is a world’s lightweight satellite weighs 64 grams, and it is comfortably fitted in 3.8 centimeters cube. KalamSat is made using 3D printed reinforced carbon fiber polymer, and most of the components were supplied from India and others from abroad. The satellite will be launched by a sub-orbital spaceflight and the expected mission time span is 240 minutes. The lightweight satellite will be operated for only 12minutes which demonstrates the 3D printed carbon fiber performance in a micro-gravity environment.
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