India launches lightweight, pint-sized satellite designed by students

The 10-centimetre (four-inch) cube satellite, named Kalamsat V2, weighs just 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds).

An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle takes off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh carrying a micro-satellite designed by school children
An Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle takes off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh carrying a micro-satellite designed by school children

Indian Scientists have recently launched a pint-sized satellite that is actually designed by students. The satellite can be held in the palm and is burnishing the country’s credentials in miniature design technology.

Students from the from the private Space Kidz India developed a tiny satellite dubbed Kalamsat V2 that weighs around 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds)- launched from the Sriharikota space center in southern Andhra Pradesh state on Thursday.

Praising the students, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “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.”

India has been competing for a larger slice of the booming commercial satellite dispatch business as a phone, internet and different organizations looking for extended and all the more high-end communications.

Srimathy Kesan, the CEO and founder of Space Kidz India said, “The Kalamsat V2 was built at a cost of 1.2 million rupees ($16,900). 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.

PM Modi also tweeted, “With this launch, India also becomes the first country to use the fourth stage of a space rocket as an orbital platform for microgravity experiments.”

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.