CHENNAI: Kalamsat-V2, world’s lightest satellite named after the country’s late President A P J Abdul Kalam and designed by students, was successfully launched on Thursday night by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) from its launch pad in Sriharikota, 100 km from here.
Weighing only 1.26 kg, the Kalamsat-V2 was designed by students of Chennai-based Space Kidz and is the ninth satellite made by students to have found place on space rockets. PSLV C-44 launched Kalamsat-V2 and imaging satellite Microsat-R at 11.37 pm and the mission was announced successful nearly 14 minutes later at 11.5 1pm.
The launch came at end of a 28-hour countdown which began on Wednesday.
A smaller version of the satellite designed by the same group of students was launched by the US-based Nasa in 2017. However, this is the first time the satellite has been put into orbital flight — the earlier satellite was put in sub-orbital flight.
The student satellite has a lifespan of two months. The latest satellite was PSLV’s 46th flight and PSLV-C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL, a new variant of the 44.4-metre-tall rocket equipped with two strap-on configurations.
Announcing the mission successful, Isro chairman Dr K Sivan congratulated the students who designed the satellite without much help from the scientific community. “Isro encourages students to experiment and science so that the country is benefited. We need more students to enter the science stream and indulge in research,” he said.
“In this mission, the fourth stage (PS4) of PSLV-C44 will be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments,” the Isro said.