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NASA Uses World’s Lightest Satellite Built By 18-Year-Old

Satellite.NASA/Wikimedia

In the world of advanced technologies, it’s a fair bet that most people envision old, wizened people working on equations and inventions in top secret facilities. However, NASA is set to send the world’s smallest satellite into space, which was made by a teen of only 18 years of age. The satellite was a competition entry, which the young inventor won.

The teen in question is named Rifath Shaarook and he created a satellite that weighs only 64 grams (0.14 lbs), Futurism reports. Taken on a sub-orbital flight, the machine will spend 4 hours orbiting the Earth, equipped with an array of sensors for measuring such things as the planet’s rotation and acceleration.

“The main challenge was to design an experiment to be flown to space which would fit into a four-meter cube weighing 64 grams,” Shaarook said during an interview with Business Standard.

“We designed it completely from scratch,” he added. “It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation, and the magnetosphere of Earth.”

Shaarook, who hails from India, entered his invention in the competition called Cubes in Space, which was made possible by the collaboration between NASA and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. The contest is just one example of how the space agency is looking to other regions for talented individuals in pursuit of improving space exploration.

The satellite itself was named KalamSat, which was taken after a famous Indian scientist, BBC reports. Shaarook is already building quite a name for himself since he is now working to spread appreciation for science and education as a member of Chennai-based Space Kidz India. The satellite is far from his only invention as well since the teen actually built a weather balloon at the age of 15 as part of another competition.

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