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Six IIT Bombay students are preparing for the pre-launch of the first “student satellite” at the Satellite Centre of the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The talk on the launch of this satellite has been going on since last eight years, but for some reason, it was still not possible. At last the much-awaited launch of the satellite known as “Pratham” will take place this year.
“Pratham” will be launched soon
ISRO’s public relations director Deviprasad Karnik told that the launch date will be announced soon. According to him, students will complete the work by September 26. This satellite was proposed by the two students Shashank Tamaskar and Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay at the Aerospace Engineering Department in 2007. An MOU was signed with ISRO in 2009 and later the project was extended till 2014.
The team has 30 students, of which 9 are part of the core team. Project Manager Manavi Dhawan conveyed that they are much excited about the developments and their dream to launch the satellite is nearing completion after so many years. The dimension of satellite is 30.5cm X 33.5cm X 46.6 cm and it weighs 10 kg.
ISRO bore all the expenses
According to Sumit Jain, one of the core team members, besides giving the GPS location “Pratham” can predict tsunamis as well. ISRO has not only provided the testing facility, but also the entire cost of the project. The youngest member of the team Harshad Jalan told that the ‘ISRO scientists’ has a zero error policy. So, every work is expected to be carried out without a single mistake. Sometimes the students have to work for 30 hours at a stretch in the lab and have only an hour to rectify any mistake.
Professors of IIT Bombay are proud of its students
The students of IIT Bombay faced another challenge. The team members have to be changed every semester making it hard for them to maintain continuity as the new students again have to acclimatize with the project from the very beginning. To overcome this problem the previous students had to work hard at writing every bit of details so that the new students find it easier to carry forward the work. The students working on this project were selected through a written test and interview.
Professor Arya, who was appointed to oversee team progress felt extremely proud while watching the students present their case and explaining their point during the review meeting with ISRO scientists.