The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched a miniature satellite designed by a 17-year-old Indian student to the edge of the space.
The satellite named “RamanSat 2” and measuring 4 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm, has been developed by a budding astronomer, Aabhaas Sikka, who is currently studying mechanical engineering in Delhi, the media reported on Wednesday.
The experiment, which is intended to make the exploration of space safer for humans and satellites, consisted of a balloon carrying “RamanSat 2”.
The balloon was successfully launched from NASA's Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in New Mexico early Tuesday, and achieved an altitude of 38 km.
Carrying state-of-the-art equipment, the satellite is made to measure radiation from the sun and space reaching the Earth.
Proud of the 17-year old's achievement, people took to Twitter to share the news and congratulate Sikka.
@NASA successfully launches a 17-year-old Indian student's satellite. This is a proud moment for India, Many congratulations to #AabhaasSikka for giving us #RamanSat2, the entire nation is proud of you. Cheers to the SPACE India team and Shri Sachin Bahmba. @isro #ISRO pic.twitter.com/BEgjCU3RdM— Sharadindu Trivedi 'Sharad' (@sharadtrivediUP) September 25, 2019
NASA has successfully launched the RamanSat 2 miniature satellite designed by a 17 year old! It consists of an equipment to measure the radiation from the Sun and space!!@NASA #spacetechnology pic.twitter.com/iLTYvjBJlg— AK Rahman (@ItsAKRahman) September 25, 2019
To interest more students in space, NASA conducts an international space competition titled “Cubes in Space” in partnership with a US-based non-profit organisation called idoodledu inc.
The competition provides an opportunity for students to build their experiments, out of which the chosen ones are flown to space.
This year, of the total of 350 experiment proposals were submitted by participants from around the world, 160 were selected to be flown by NASA.
"RamanSat 2” was developed during his internship with SPACE-India, a New Delhi-based organisation working in the field of astronomy, space education and technology. His project was selected from India.
In 2017, a high school team from India’s Chennai city developed a satellite that was launched by NASA as part of the same project. The satellite was named after late former Indian president Dr. A. P.J Abdul Kalam.
After successfully launching a lunar orbiter as part of its "Chandrayaan 2" lunar project in August, the India Space Research Organisation is preparing for a manned space mission, "Gangayaan", in 2022.