Kalam SAT is a Femto Satellite and widely claimed to be the world's lightest satellite. It is named after former Indian president Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and was built by an Indian High school student team, led by Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old from the Tamil Nadu town of Pallapatti. The high school team participated in Cubes in Space, a STEM-based education program by Idoodle Learning.Inc and NASA. As selected student competitors, the team won an opportunity to design experiments to be launched into space on a NASA rocket. Kalam SAT was launched by NASA along with several other experiments on Terrier Orion sounding rocket on 22 June 2017 from Wallops Island flight facility in Virginia.
The weight of the probe is just 64 grams and it is fitted in a 3.8 centimeters cube. The probe is composed of 3-D printed reinforced carbon fiber polymer. Part of the components were supplied from India and other parts from abroad. The probe was launched by a sub-orbital spaceflight. The expected time span of the mission (post flight) is 240 minutes. The tiny probe will be operated only for less than 12 minutes to demonstrate the performance of 3-D printed carbon fiber in a micro-gravity environment of space.
Although Kalam SAT has been reported to be the world’s lightest satellite, the term 'lightest' applies more to the KickSat Sprite—which is considerably smaller, lighter, and actually flown in orbit. Due to a malfunction, KickSat Sprites never deployed from KickSat, so that KickSat 1 orbited the earth as a 5.5 Kilograms 3U CubeSat. The Sprites burned up inside KickSat during re-entry. In its first deployment, KalamSat would be a technology demonstrator satellite since it won't reach orbit; it will fly a sub-orbital flight on a sounding rocket.
The probe was built by a team of 7 people led by Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old student from Pallapatti, Tamil Nadu, India, on behalf of a Research Organization based in Chennai, as a part of a ‘Cubes in Space’ competition. This contest was jointly organized by NASA and ‘I Doodle Learning’, which is a global education company. This was the first time that a space probe made by an Indian student, was launched by NASA.
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