ISRO Missions and Discoveries

Indian Sat: Another satellite made by students


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Femto Satellites, Micro-gravity

Mains level : Not Much

An experimental satellite developed by three students of Karur (TN) has been selected for launch in sub-orbital space by NASA.

Try this PYQ:

Q.The term ‘IndARC’, sometimes seen in the news, is the name of:

(a) An indigenously developed radar system inducted into Indian Defence

(b) India’s satellite to provide services to the countries of Indian Ocean Rim

(c) A scientific establishment set up by India in Antarctic region

(d) India’s underwater observatory to scientifically study the Arctic region

Indian Sat

  • The Indian Sat is made of reinforced graphene polymer. It is 3 cm in size and weighs 64 gm.
  • It has its own radio frequency communication to transmit and receive a signal from earth to outer space. The solar cells attached to the satellite generate power for it.
  • The photographic film will absorb and measure the cosmic radiation inside the rocket.
  • It would study the effect of reinforced graphene polymers in microgravity. It would be in sub-orbital space flight for a few minutes before landing in the ocean.

What is micro-gravity?

  • The term micro-g environment is more or less synonymous with the terms weightlessness and zero-g, but with an emphasis on the fact that g-forces are never exactly zero—it is just very small.
  • On the ISS, for example, the small g-forces come from tidal effects, gravity from objects other than the Earth, such as astronauts, the spacecraft, and the Sun, and, occasionally, air resistance.

Back2Basics: Femto-satellites

  • Femto-satellites are satellites with a mass lower than 100 grams.
  • These new categories of satellites are, by concept, low cost devices if they are based on Commercial-of-the-Shelf (COTS) components.
  • Some examples of applications are related to low-cost missions with a short time of development.


  • Kalamsat was a communication satellite with a life span of two months launched in 2017.
  • The nanosatellite is a 10cm cube weighing 1.2 kg.
  • It will be the first to use the rocket’s fourth stage as an orbital platform.
  • The fourth stage will be moved to higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.
  • It is named after former Indian president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam and was built by an Indian high school student team, led by Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old from the Tamil Nadu town of Pallapatti.
  • It is the world’s lightest and first-ever 3D-printed satellite.

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