Thumb-Sized Satellite Weighs 64 Grams

An Indian teen has designed a satellite weighing just 64 grams. It will spend 12 minutes in micro-gravity next month to test how well the design works.

Rifath Sharook’s ‘Kalamsat’, named after former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam, was the winner of Cubes In Space, a joint competition run by NASA and education company I Doodle Learning.

Entrants had to design a cube satellite with faces just four centimeters across. Despite these restrictions, Sharook won with a design that features an on-board computer and eight sensors, including an accelerometer and a magnetometer.

As you could probably guess, the cube is 3D-printed and made of carbon fiber. As part of the prize, the cube will be sent on a four-hour sub-orbital flight next month, launching by rocket from a NASA base in Wallops Island off the Virginia coast. The flight isn’t so much about gathering data but rather checking that everything works as expected.

The 18-year-old reportedly spent two years on the project, leading a team of six people. The satellite cost around 100,000 rupees to make, equivalent to a little over $US1,500.

[Photo Source:]