Rifath Sharook
A NASA launch on June 21 will feature the world’s smallest satellite, developed by Indian teenager Rifath Sharook.

SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — When the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) launches the world’s smallest satellite, named KalamSat, on June 21, it will be the first mission in history to pilot the experiment by an Indian student.

Eighteen-year-old Rifath Sharook from Tamil Nadu’s town of Pallapatti developed the satellite, which weighs a mere 64 grams.

Named after India’s former president and nuclear scientist APJ Abdul Kalam, the satellite will be launched from a NASA facility on Wallops Island in Virginia. Sharook’s project, the first to be manufactured via 3D printing, was selected by the U.S. space authority in its “Cubes in Space” competition program. The project aims to take the performance of new technology to space.

Sharook said the launch will send the satellite into a sub-orbital flight, the mission will last an estimated 240 minutes. KalamSat will operate for 12 minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space. “The main role of the satellite will be to demonstrate the performance of 3D-printed carbon fiber,” he told the Times of India.

“We designed it completely from scratch. It will have a new kind of on-board computer and eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation and the magnetosphere of the earth,” Sharook said. “The main challenge was to design an experiment to be flown to space which would fit into a four-meter cube weighing 64 grams.”

Sharook’s project received its funding from an Indian program named “Space Kidz India.” He said he became inspired and curious in outer space from an early age, and that he was a subscriber of Nasa’s Kids Club.