Hailing from a relatively lesser known town of Pallapatti in Tamil Nadu, 18-year-old Sharook has created a 64 gram satellite which is the lightest in the world. This extraordinary satellite named KalamSat – in honor of Former India President and Scientist Late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam – is all set to be launched by NASA on 21st June. He is the first Indian student whose experiment will be launched by NASA. He will be breaking a global space record during the launch of the lightest satellite from Wallops Island, which is a NASA facility. Post-launch, his satellite will follow a suborbital flight. KalamSat’s mission span is 240 minutes and it will operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of the space. The purpose of launching this satellite is to exhibit the functioning of 3D printed carbon fibre. Sharook won ‘Cubes in Space’ a competition jointly held by NASA and another organisation named ‘I Doodle Learning’.
Rifath Sharook made his satellite from reinforced carbon fibre polymer, using various Indian and international components. A crucial challenge of the experiment was to design a product that can be launched in the space fitting in a four-metre cube. Also, it was essential that the said product should weigh exactly 64 grams. After doing a lot of research, the organisers of competition realised that Sharook’s was the lightest satellite ever.
PRAJWALA GHATE | TOC
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