An 18-year-old from Tamil Nadu in India has built what experts are hailing as the “world’s lightest satellite.” Bonus: NASA’s going to send it into space. Rifath Shaarook’s 1.5-inch cube weighs a mite 2.2 ounces—lighter than many smartphones. “We built it completely from scratch,” Shaarook told India’s Business Standard. “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the Earth.”
The satellite beat more than 86,000 entries from 57 countries to win Cubes in Space, a design competition organized by education nonprofit iDoodle with the support of NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.
Shaarook named his design KalamSat after A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s former president and a famous aerospace scientist in his own right.
Come June 22, NASA will send the cube on a four-hour suborbital spaceflight, where it’ll operate for 12 minutes under microgravity conditions.
Shaarook currently works as lead scientist at Space Kidz India, an organization in Chennai that promotes science and education for the country’s youth.
Via BBC News