India launches world’s lightest rocket.
World’s lightest satellite - Kalamsat - made by Indian students was launched by ISRO on January 24, and what is more interesting is that it did not charge a single rupee for the launch. The launch took place around 11:40 PM from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota. The satellite is designed and built by the students who work with an organisation called ‘Space Kidz India’ in Chennai. Kalamsat was launched successfully and with this India became the first country to use the fourth stage of a space rocket as an orbital platform.
This satellite weighs just 1.26 kg and is lighter than a wooden chair. It cost Rs 12 lakh to make it and was ready in just six days. But, it is not enough to create something, you have to perfect it - the group of students took six years to perfect this satellite. As a tribute to the former President, the satellite is named after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and the project is led by Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old from the Tamil Nadu town of Pallapatti.
It will help ham radio operators and inspire schoolchildren to become the scientists and engineers of the future. The Indian space agency is also going to reuse a stage of the rocket that was used to launch the satellite. Traditionally, rockets are expendable. Their various segments are discarded during an ascent. Fuel is also removed. They end up as space debris - there are millions of discarded pieces of metal and other materials orbiting the Earth, ranging from defunct satellites to old rocket segments to accidentally dropped astronaut tools. Collisions can cause a great deal of damage, and generate even more pieces of debris.
The experimental orbital platform will help researchers carry out experiments in a near zero-gravity environment. In this mission, the last stage of the rocket will be "moved to a higher circular orbit" from where the Kalamsat-V2 is expected to beam down its signals. This is the first time ISRO will conduct such an experiment to reclaim a dead rocket stage and to keep it alive. In this new approach, researchers can simply bring in their payloads or experiments which will then be plugged into the equipment bay.
ISRO is enthusiastic to try this "waste to wealth innovation".