An experimental satellite made by three students of Karur, Tamil Nadu has been selected for launch in sub-orbital space by NASA.
It took over two years of research and development for M. Adnaan of Thanthonrimalai, M. Kesavan of Nagampalli village close to Malaikovilur and V. Arun of Thennilai to plan and build up the satellite that outsmarted various satellites developed by hopeful space researchers to win the worldwide competition directed by the Cubes in Space, a program of Idoodledu Inc in association with NASA.
They were studying Plus One when they sat together and started to design the world’s smallest and lightest technology demonstrator satellite. The determination, hard work and perseverance of the students, presently pursuing undergraduate courses, have made them proud. They were tutored and guided by Chennai-based Space Kids India, which encourages aspiring space researchers.
The satellite made of strengthened graphene polymer is 3 cm in size and weighs 64 gm. It has its own radio frequency communication to transmit and receive signal from Earth to outer space. The solar cells connected to the satellite generate power for it. The photographic film will retain and measure the cosmic radiation inside the rocket.
The satellite, christened Indian Sat, will be launch into the sub orbit in June next on NASA’s sounding rocket 7.
Rifath Sharook of Space Kids India, who coached the Karur boys, revealed that it was perhaps the greatest moment for them as their model had been selected among many submitted by young candidates from more than 50 nations. It would examine the impact of reinforced graphene polymers in microgravity. It would be in sub-orbital space flight for a couple of minutes before landing in the ocean.
The young scientists confronted troubles in meeting the expenditure of about ₹1.35 lakh for the project because of their poor economic background. However, the faculty members of the Department of Physics of Government Arts College in Karur, where two of them were studying, and the Karur-based Shiva Educational Trust sponsored the project.
“We eagerly await the launch of our satellite. It will be a big moment in our life. It is like a dream comes true. In spite of financial struggle, we have made it to the big stage with the support of some big hearts,” says Kesavan, 18, son of a salesman in a ration shop in Karur.