India: Indian teenager Rifath Shaarook has designed and built what is thought to be the world’s lightest satellite, which is due to be launched at a NASA facility next month.
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 the satellite, KalamSat, in respect for the former President APJ Abdul Kalam. The satellite will be launched from NASA’s Wallops Island next month.
A lead scientist at Chennai’s science education organization, Space Kidz India, Rifath 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.