India again created history when the Kalamsat, named after former President and nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam was launched by NASA on 23rd of June 2017. Built not by professional scientists, but by an 18 year old student Rifath Sharook and his team from Tamil Nadu, the smallest satellite weighs just around 64 grams. The satellite was flown into the space in a NASA sounding rocket from a NASA facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
Kalamsat can be held in one’s palm, is a 3.8 cm cube and its structure is fully 3-D printed with reinforced carbon fiber polymer. It is equipped with a nano Geiger Muller counter which will measure radiation in space. The team Space Kids India led by Sharook says to ANI, “It’s a 3D printed satellite. It is for the first time that 3D printing technology is being used in space. We have made history. The world’s smallest satellite has been launched in space. It was not possible without my team,” he said. Shaarook entered his invention into the Cubes In Space competition, run by education company idoodlelearning, and supported by NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. Their satellite beat 100 competitors for a coveted space on a NASA rocket.
The project was carried out under the supervision of Dr. Srimathy Kesan, founder and CEO of Space Kids India who calls it a divine intervention. The mission director also said that the total flight time of the rocket was 240 minutes and the satellite, assembled at her T.Nagar residence in Chennai, separated from the rocket 125 minutes after lift-off. “Kalamsat fell into the sea. It will be recovered and Nasa will be sending it back to us for decoding the data,” she told The Times Of India.
India has been making incredible progress in space technology. These teens pose as a role model for aspirants in the field and shows that the sky has no limits.