An Indian teenager has built the world’s lightest satellite which will now be put into orbit by NASA.
The satellite which was designed by 18-year-old Rifath Shaarook, weighs only 64 grams and was 3D printed using carbon fibre. The device will now go on a four-hour mission for a sub-orbital flight during which it will operate for around 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space.
“We designed it completely from scratch,” says Shaarook. “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.”
Called KalamSat, the tiny satellite has been named after former Indian president Abdul Kalam, a pioneer of the country’s aeronautical science ambitions.
Shaarook’s belongs to a small town in Tamil Nadu and now works as lead scientist at Chennai-based Space Kidz India.
His project was selected in NASA’s Cubes in Space challenge. The KalamSat is not the teenager’s first invention who also built a helium weather balloon, as a part of nationwide competition for young scientists, at the young age of 15.