Wednesday 17 May 2017

This Teen Builds Lightest Ever Satellite And It's Being Launched By Nasa Next Month

Rifath Shaarook

Indian teenager Rifath Shaarook has designed and built what is thought to be the world's lightest satellite - and it's due to be launched at a Nasa facility in June.

The 64-gram device is made from 3D printed carbon fibre, and was the winning entry in Cubes in Space, a design contest for young inventors organised by education company idoodle, with backing from Nasa and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.

Rifath has named his creation KalamSat, after former Indian president Abdul Kalam. It will be launched from Nasa's Wallops Island facility in the US next month, entering into a four-hour sub-orbital flight. For 12 minutes of the flight it will be operating in a micro-gravity environment.


Rifath, who is lead scientist at Chennai-based science education organisation Space Kidz India, said: “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-metre cube weighing 64 grams”.

Rifath, who comes from a small town in Tamil Nadu, previously built a helium weather balloon as a part of a competition for young scientists when just 15 years old.



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