Everyone knows about the KalamSat now. That it was launched by NASA and is the lightest satellite (weighing at just 64 grams) ever launched. The face of the mission was Rifath Sharook, an 18 year old from Tamil Nadu, who led a team of 7 belonging to different ;parts of India.

However, this is not the first time the boy and his mentor has been in the news.

In 2015, he had launched a Helium Weather Balloon successfully after winning a similar competition that was held in India, under the guidance of Dr Srimathy Kesan, the Founder and CEO of Space Kidz India.

Coordinator Dr Shreemathi Kesan (in yellow) with Rifath Sharook to her left along with Hindustan University students during the launch of weather balloon on Sunday. (Photo: DC)

Back then, in 2015, when he was asked about his inspiration, he said,  he loved exploring things since his childhood days. When he was five years old India launched a rocket. At that time his father worked in ISRO. But the rocket had burst.

“I was playing with a paper rocket. My father asked me to not play with a paper rocket, instead make a real one. That inspired me, so from then on I had a desire to launch something near the space,” he said

Back to the present achievement, under the supervision of Dr Srimathy Kesan, and led by Shaarook, the other members of the team are Tanishq Dwivedi (flight engineer), Vinay S Bhardwaj (design engineer), Yagna Sai (lead technician), Mohammed Abdul Kashif (lead engineer) and Gobinath (biologist)

Now to the engineering part of it

  • Fitted in a 3.8 centimeters cube, the weight of the probe is just 64 grams.
  • KalamSat is composed of 3-D printed reinforced carbon fiber polymer. Some parts of the components were supplied from India and other from abroad. It will be launched by a sub-orbital spaceflight. ( Sub- orbital spaceflights are flights wherein the satellite stays only for a certain duration outside the Earth’s atmosphere)


  • The expected time span of the mission (post flight) was 240 minutes and it was successfully achieved.
  • The tiny probe was supposed to 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 and this too was achieved.
  • The experimental satellite would capture and record temperature, radiation level, rotation buckling, magnetosphere and others before landing in the ocean.
  • Cost: 1 lakh
Rifath Sharook

The man of the moment, Rifath Sharook

Quote by Sharook:

“It’s a 3-D printed satellite. It is for the first time that 3-D printing technology is being used in space. We have made history. The world’s smallest satellite has been launched in space. It was not possible without my team,” Sharook told ANI.

Salient Features of the KalamSat

  • The experimental satellite was among the 80 models selected among 86,000 designs submitted by young contestants belonging to 57 countries in the “Cubes in Space” contest organised by Idoodle Learning in association with NASA.
  • The satellite was the only model selected from India for the launch.

Sharook’s project was sponsored by ‘Space Kidz India’, and points to his keen interest in space. He has also subscribed to the NASA kid’s club.

If talent was the only thing necessary to be successful, there would be more people in the Most Successful People list. Hard work and perseverance is something Dr. Kalam always vouched for.

Dr. Kalam quoted John F Kennedy once,

All of us do not have equal talent. But all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents

Sumeet Patel

Co-founder, Writer and Editor at Ten. I like writing on Life and Entrepreneurship. New concepts and innovations inspire me

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