NASA has launched world’s lightest satellite weighing only 64 grams designed by 18-year-old boy Rifath Sharook from Tamil Nadu. The tiny satellite has been named as KalamSat after the former President APJ Abdul Kalam. The tiny satellite was launched into space on a sounding rocket from NASA’s facility in Wallops Island.
KalamSat is a 3-D printed satellite. This is the first time that 3-D printing technology is used to make satellites.
To participate in NASA’s contest Cubes in Space in partnership with the global education company, I Doodle Learning, Sharook and his team had designed a 1 kg CubeSat. But as the CubSat was costly the group made a smaller version for the contest and came up with ‘KalamSat’.
By using the concept called BalloonSats, the group created a Near Space Launch Vehicle (NSLV) to launch KalamSat. BalloonSats are designed to carry lightweight experiments into near-space.
The tiny satellite weighs only 64 grams which is lighter than a smartphone. The satellite has been made of reinforced carbon fibre polymer.
The satellite was operated for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space after its flight. The purpose behind the launch of KalamSat was to demonstrate the performance of 3D-printed carbon fibre.