India launches pint-sized satellite designed by students

Author: 
AFP
ID: 
1548408079956718200
Fri, 2019-01-25 09:13

SRIHARIKOTA, India: A lightweight satellite designed by students
that can be held in the palm of the hand has been launched by
Indian scientists, burnishing the country’s credentials in
miniature design technology.
The 10-centimeter (four-inch) cube satellite, named Kalamsat V2,
weighs just 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds), according to students from
the private Space Kidz India group who designed the celestial
unit.
It was launched from the Sriharikota space center in southern
Andhra Pradesh state on Thursday, drawing praise from Prime
Minister Narendra Modi.
“Heartiest congratulations to our space scientists for yet
another successful launch of PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle).
This launch has put in orbit Kalamsat, built by India’s talented
students,” Modi tweeted.
The launch was another feather in the cap for the Indian Space
Research Organization (ISRO), which won Asia’s race to Mars in
2014 when one of its spacecrafts reached the Red Planet on a
shoestring budget.
India has been vying for a larger slice of the booming commercial
satellite launch business as phone, Internet and other companies
seek expanded and more high-end communications.
The Kalamsat V2 was built at a cost of 1.2 million rupees
($16,900), said Srimathy Kesan, the CEO and founder of Space Kidz
India.
It will serve as a communications satellite for ham radio
transmissions used by amateurs for non-commercial activities.
In 2017 an even smaller satellite, weighing just 64 grams and
designed by the same group, was launched in the US aboard a NASA
rocket, but never reached orbit.
The main payload on Thursday’s launch was the 740-kilogram
Microsat-R that will be used to take high-resolution photos of
Earth for defense research.
India has made giant strides in its space journey, launching a
record 104 satellites in a single mission in 2017. It has also
built a reputation as a reliable low-cost option for space
exploration.

India launches rocket carrying dozens of satellitesIndia to launch
104 satellites in record mission
Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
India launches pint-sized satellite designed by students