Indian Muslim teen develops world's smallest satellite, NASA will launch it
New Delhi, May 17: It will be a proud moment for all Indians when the US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will be launching world's smallest satellite next month. Do you know why? The 64-gram satellite has been developed by none other than a Muslim teenager from Tamil Nadu. The teen scientist Rifath Sharook is just 18 years old and a student of 12th class.
The tiny satellite manufactured by 3D printing, weighing just 64 grams, is the lightest satellite in the world as well. The satellite "KalamSat" named after renowned scientist and former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, will be launched by NASA on June 21.
Sharook's satellite got selected in a competition "Cubes in Space", jointly organized by NASA and an educational group, 'I Doodle Learning.' He developed this tiny satellite while working on a project funded by Space Kidz India, an organization that educates and guides young aspirants to make career in science and technology.
"The satellite is made mainly of reinforced carbon fiber polymer. We did a lot of research on different cube satellites all over the world and found ours was the lightest. We obtained some of the components from abroad and some are indigenous," Sharook was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Sharook said it would be a sub-orbital flight and after launch the mission span would be 240 minutes while the operational capacity of the satellite will be for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space.
"The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fibre," Sharook said while speaking to the daily from Pallapatti town in Tamil Nadu.
Sharook has been fascinated by space science since beginning. In 2015, he launched a 1,200gm helium weather balloon into the atmosphere.