‘The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination’ – Tommy Lasorda
Rifath Sharook 18 Year Old Design World’s Smallest Satellite & Launched by Nasa – India has been a pioneer in the field of science and an 18-year-old teen. Rifath Sharook has joined the long list of contributors to the field of Astro-science by investing the world’s smallest satellite on June 21. This is the first time that an Indian student’s experiment has been operated by NASA. As Rifath, a native of Tamil Nadu is the brain behind ‘KalamSat’.
Shark’s project was sponsored by ‘Space Kids India’ and points to his keen interest in space. He has also subscribed to the NASA Kid’s club. The ‘KalamSat’ satellite is a tribute to Shook’s inspiration, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the launch of which took place at the Wallops Island facility and is considered to be e tremendous achievement in Indian space history.
This is not the first time that the young genius invented something out of the box. Back in 2015, Rifath invented a 1200g helium weather balloon from the ground in Kelambakkam, as a part of ‘Young Scientist India-2015’ competition held by Space Kids India.
Rifath participated in the Cubes in Space, a STEM-based education program by Idoodle Learning Inc. and NASA. The objective of this competition was to teach school students how to design and compete to launch an experiment into space with a free opportunity to design experiments to be launched into space on a NASA rocket or balloon if their project is selected.
The probe was built by a team of 7 people led by RifathSharook, from Palapatti, on behalf of a Research Organisation based in Chennai, as a part of a competition named as ‘Cubes in Space.’
Rifath says in a conversation with TOI, “We did a lot of research on different cube satellites all over the world, and found that ours was the lightest. We obtained some of the components from abroad, and some are indigenous. The satellite is made mainly of reinforced carbon fiber polymer. We designed it completely from scratch. It will have a new kind of onboard computer. And eight indigenous built-in sensors to measure acceleration, rotation, and the magnetosphere of the earth. The main challenge was to design an experiment to be flown to space that would fit in a four-meter cube.
When asked about academic pressure. He says, “I am repeating my class 12 for the second time due to health issues. I joined back to school only during half yearly and had directly given my model exam. I live in a joint family, and none of the family members have pressurized me to score or even study at all. My achievement is due to the passion and never pressure.”
“Even those who have scored centum in Physics have not been able to explain simple concepts. It is not the marks that test the real knowledge. It is the practical applications that matter. Interest in something must be cultivated by real applications. And parents must let their children follow their dreams without judging them before giving them an opportunity to prove their expertise”, he concludes.
Rifath reveals, “When you are passionate about something, you need to allocate a separate time for it; it would spontaneously help you in managing time, there is nothing as powerful as that passion.”
‘A dream doesn’t become a reality through magic, it takes sweat, determination and hard work’ – Colin Powell
Rifath’s determination and dedication to his passion led him to succeed one of his biggest challenges. It teaches us to work hard and keep faith in ourselves. One should never quit but follow his passion with dedication and discipline.
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