NASA launches Indian student’s satellite RamanSat 2 to the edge of space

The helium balloon with the miniature satellite was launched from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility located in New Mexico, USA.

Written by September 25, 2019 18:00

New Delhi: It is a moment of pride for SPACE-India, a pioneer organisation working in the field of Astronomy and Space education and technology.

NASA recently successfully launched the RamanSat 2 miniature satellite to the edge of space. The miniature satellite, measuring 4 cm x 4 cm x 4 cm, has been designed by 17-year old Indian student Aabhaas Sikka, a young genius who worked with SPACE organisation as an intern.

Aabhaas has been mentored by Mr. Sachin Bahmba, CMD, SPACE along with the research team at SPACE, in designing the experiment. SPACE provided Mr. Aabhaas with the platform and nurturing to design this experiment.

The helium balloon with the miniature satellite was launched from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility located in New Mexico, USA.

The experiment has been named RamanSat II in the honour of the Nobel prize-winning Indian physicist – Sir CV Raman. RamanSat II follows RamanSat I, both the experiments by SPACE, won an international competition, by the name of Cubes in Space, run by Idoodledu inc, a US-based company in collaboration with NASA, where they won the opportunity to fly. RamanSat I successfully flew to space on 20th June on a NASA rocket.

RamanSat II is a technology demonstration mission, which aims to use a low-cost Gamma-Ray sensor in space. Gamma Ray research from space is currently done by use of expensive satellites.

RamanSat II’s hopes to encourage more amateur space enthusiasts to do Gamma ray astronomy from space, by showing the simplicity and affordability of the instruments involved.

The scientific aspect of the mission is to detect the energetic Gamma Radiation which are emitted by distant astronomical bodies in the universe and is even associated with the exotic phenomenon of Gamma Ray Bursts. Gamma radiation will be measured at different altitudes. Such a study can only be conducted at high altitudes because the earth’s atmosphere acts as a shield to prevent gamma radiations from reaching the ground. Space radiation including gamma rays is lethal to living things as well as to satellites. RamanSat II will not only help in understanding how the radiation level increases with altitude, but it will also measure the radiation levels in the upper reaches of the stratosphere, where many future space tourists are expected to fly to. On its way up, the balloon will also cross the aviation altitude, where several planes fly and find out, the radiation levels there.

Commenting on the significance of this achievement, Mr Sachin Bahmba said: “It is a moment of pride not only for SPACE organisation but also for the country when such young students of India are demonstrating calibre to work on projects involving conducting experiments of such prestigious projects. We at SPACE thank Idoodledu inc. as well as NASA for providing such an opportunity to our students to participate and helping”

SPACE organisation remains committed bringing this opportunity to large number Indian students being able to conduct experiments in space.

About SPACE India:

SPACE India is a pioneer organization, which has implemented astronomy and space science in the Indian Education system. SPACE has taught lakhs school students all over India, ever since its inception. SPACE believes we are preparing mankind for a future in space by developing trained students through its innovative programs such as Universe in the School, Space Explorers Workshops and SPACE Clubs. Our students have had several accomplishments under their belt, including provisional discoveries of more than four thousand asteroids orbiting the Sun in the main belt. This is the largest number of discoveries done by school students in any country in the world. SPACE has also successfully introduced water rocketry in Indian schools. Today, SPACE member students are not only asteroid discoverers and comet hunters, but also researchers, doctoral students and many of them are national and international level project winners to different schools of Delhi-NCR, Ludhiana, Chennai, Surat, Dehradun & Meerut. SPACE has helped to incline one lakh students and over 500 institutes towards science through its programmes