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Indian teen develops world’s smallest satellite for Nasa

To be launched on June 21

KalamSat, the world’s smallest and lightest satellite developed by an Indian boy Rifath Sharook, will be launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) on June 21.

The launch will be a milestone moment for the 18-year-old Sharook, whose satellite weighs only 64 grammes. He hails from Pallapatti town in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

‘KalamSat’ is named after India’s nuclear scientist and former President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Sharook’s project – the first to be manufactured via 3D printing – got selected through a competition, ‘Cubes in Space’, sponsored jointly by Nasa and ‘I Doodle Learning’, Business Standard reports.

Sharook said it would be a sub-orbital flight and after launch the mission span would be 240 minutes.

The tiny satellite would operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of the space.

“The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3D-printed carbon fibre,” Sharook told The Times of India.

He 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 grammes.”

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His experiment was funded by an organisation called ‘Space Kidz India’, said Sharook, adding he had a great interest in space and was also a subscriber of the Nasa Kid’s Club.

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