KalamSat goes into orbit

Rifath Shaarook   | Photo Credit: A. Muralitharan

It was a moment of pride for the country’s budding space scientists as an experimental satellite designed by a six-member team led by Md. Rifath Shaarook of Pallapatti in Karur district was successfully launched into sub-orbital space by SR 4 rocket at around 2 p.m. from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, United States, on Thursday.

Celebrations began at Space Kids India premises in Chennai, an organisation for bringing out the talent of students, seconds after the launch of KalamSat, named after former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, which was live streamed on Ustream.

Fellow student scientists and family members, who were glued to the big screen set up at Space Kids India premises to watch the big moment since morning on Thursday, congratulated Rifath (18) and his team members for showcasing their talent in space science.

Vinay Bharadwaj, Tanishq Dwevdi, Yagnasai, Abdul Kashif and Gobi Nath were part of the team that designed the satellite.

Rifath had despatched the satellite by air cargo to Virginia in the third week of May for the launch.

The experimental satellite was made of reinforced carbon fibre with 3-D printing technology.

It took more than two-years for Rifath and his team to design the experimental satellite using the 3-D printing technology at a cost of just ₹1 lakh.

“I do not have words to express my joy. It is a big moment and it is a motivating factor to me and to aspiring student scientists to pursue career on designing satellites and space research,” said Rifath, who has just completed Plus Two, to The Hindu soon after watching the successful launch.

The experimental satellite that weighs just 64 grams was among the 80 models selected among 86,000 designs submitted by young contestants belonging to 57 countries in the “Cubes in Space” contest organised by Idoodle Learning in association with NASA.

Only model from India

The satellite was the only model selected from India for the launch.

Rifath said that the experimental satellite would capture and record temperature, radiation level, rotation buckling, magnetosphere and others before landing in the ocean.

He added that he would soon get the data captured by the satellite.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 10:21:13 PM |

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