ISRO launches military satellite Microsat-R, student-built Kalamsat

Minnie Murray
January 27, 2019

The satellites will be carried by a new variant of India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.

According to the ISRO website, the 46th flight of PSLV-C44 to launch MicroSat-R and KalamSat from the first launch pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota on Jan 24. "This new low cost technology will help students to conduct several inspiring experiments in space by attaching their instruments to the last stage of the rocket", Dr Sivan concluded.

Speaking to IANS earlier, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K. Sivan said the rocket would launch DRDO satellite Microsat R weighing about 700 kg and Kalamsat. "We will test the effectiveness of nano communication satellites during this mission", said Srimathy Kesan, CEO, Space Kidz India.

An even lighter satellite, weighing 64 grams and built by the same group of students, was launched on a four-hour mission for a sub-orbital flight from a Nasa facility in the U.S. in June 2017.

In 25 years, the PSLV has successfully carried 53 Indian and 269 worldwide satellites. The world's lightest satellite, made by Indian students, was successfully placed in orbit by the rocket launched by the space agency on Thursday night. "But with this launch, we are only testing the technology and seeing how it operates", he said. After injection, two solar arrays of the satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO telemetry tracking and command network (ISTRAC) at Bengaluru assumed control of the satellite.

ISRO will also launch GSAT 31, a communication satellite, during the first week of February by Ariane space rocket Ariane, said Sivan. "Young scientists will shape the future of India". And the students we have are from various colleges. Kashif said while the actual building of the satellite had taken just 6-7 days, at least four years of research had been invested in putting it together.

A team of teenage students from Space Kidz India made history by creating and launching the world's lightest satellite on June 22, 2017, by NASA, from its Wallops Island facility in Virginia.

It is also the first to be built by a private Indian firm and launched by Isro.

India is expected to launch its next PSLV rocket in February.

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