Space may be the final frontier, and India seems determined in conquering it. Following the launches of its successful and much celebrated lunar and Mars orbiters – Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan – in 2008 and 2014, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) also set several records last year, from launching the most number of satellites ever (104!) from a single rocket, to becoming one of very few countries to have launched a ‘heavy-lift’ rocket – in this case, a 3 tonne rocket containing a communications satellite.
But the scientists and engineers at ISRO aren’t the only group of Indians breaking records in the realm of satellites and space research. India’s latest achievement in the field comes from a group of youngsters. Led by 18-year-old Rifath Sharook from Tamil Nadu, this team from Space Kidz India has created the world’s smallest satellite. Called KalamSat after president APJ Abdul Kalam, the 3.8 cm cube, weighing only 64 grams, can fit into one’s palm. Moreover, not only is it the world’s smallest satellite, but also the world’s first 3D printed satellite.
Equipped with a Geiger counter for measuring radiation, the satellite was launched by NASA on 23rd June, beating out a 100 other competitors for the spot. The launch shows, once again, that India’s potential in the field of space research spans across generations, and can flourish given the right resources.