Saturday, January 8, 2011

Who is aiming for the stars? Yes, it is students of Chennai again.

              By chance if a student from Chennai becomes the first Indian to land on the moon do not be really surprised. This can happen. Yes, they are aiming for the stars.

            After Anusat (Anna University Satellite), there is another group of students in Chennai which is  designing and developing a satellite which is expected to be launched in April 2011 by Isro's highly-proven Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). The satellite designated as SRMSAT is the product of about 45 engineering students of the prestigious SRM University, about 40 kms from Chennai.

           The story of SRMSAT began in August 2008 when the vision of launching a student satellite was mentioned at a seminar taken by D.Raghavamurthy of Isro. The idea of launching a satellite was born and the students decided to take it up as a challenge. Raghavamurthy has been regularly interacting with students across the country inspiring them to design and develop small satellites.

           According to a space website, ``Space Mart,'' the primary role of the 10 kg nano satellite is to monitor greenhouse gases.

         The tiny satellite is taking shape at the labs of SRM University with students representing as many as 12 engineering disciplines working closely with Isro to make their starry dreams turn into a realily, There is no doubt that Isro will provide the youngsters full support and encouragement to fulfill their dreams as it has always done.

          M.Loganathan, former Isro scientist, who is leading the satellite team, has been quoted as saying in the website that the students are so passionate about this project that after finishing their classes at 4 p.m.,they head directly towards the labs and work on the satellite till about midnight.

           Sarvesh Narayan, a mechanical engineering student said: ``It was difficult to communicate technically as we all come from different disciplines of engineering. But, we did overcome it as each of us had to understand the concept of the other disciplines. Right now the mantra for these space age students is only SRMSAT. They dream and talk only about this project 24X7 over lunch, dinner and during the weekends.

          The mission profile as stated in the sat's website envisages that it will operate at an altitude ranging between 600 and 800 kms. The cost of the project is about Rs two crores.

           We are eagerly looking forward to the launch of SRMSAT and we wish it Good Luck and God Speed. So, let us not be surprised if the Indian on the moon happens to be from Chennai!


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