A teenage of 18 years,Rifath Sharook from Tamil Nadu has added another feather to the achievements of India in aeronautical science. The US space agency,NASA(National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is all set to launch world’s lightest satellite invented by this boy of class 12.
Rifath Sharook hails from a relatively unknown town, Pallapati in Tamil Nadu, has designed the world’s lightest satellite weighing only 64 grams,lighter than a smartphone even.
This satellite which is named after the pioneer of aeronautical science Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam,is a tribute to this great scientist by Rifath. This satellite, KalamSat will be launched by NASA on 21st June from Wallop Island facility creating record in Indian space history.
Rifath’s design,KalamSat was selected through a competition called “Cubes in Space”, jointly organised by NASA and ‘I Doodle Learning’. Rifath explained “It will be a sub orbital flight and post launch,the mission span will be about 240 minutes and the tiny light satellite will operate for 12 minutes in a micro gravity environment of space. The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3D printed carbon fibre”
Rifath said that the main challenge he faced while designing the satellite was to select material that will prove to be the lightest. “We did a lot of research on different cube satellites all over the world and found ours was the lightest”, he added. This is not the first time that this wonder boy has set a record.In 2015, he had launched a 1,200g helium weather balloon from a ground in Kelambakkam, Tamil Nadu.