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The boy is called Rifath Shaarook, is 18 years old and if everything goes according to plan, in June he will becomethe designer of the lightest satellite ever placed in (sub) orbit : a carbon fiber device made with a 3D printer that NASA plans to launch up there.
In recent years, space agencies are in the midst of a complex love-hate relationship with private companies such as Blue Origin or Space X. And their response is being strong bets on ‘space culture’ and programs that try to bring the Challenges of the universe to the classrooms and the society of the day to day .
Space is getting closer
This is the case. Shaarook has won the Cubes in Space , a challenge organized in collaboration with NASA and the Space Grant Consortium of Colorado . The idea is very simple, but it is within the reach of few: the program allows young people between 11 and 18 years to carry out a project from the conception of the same until it is placed in space .
Needless to say, it’s nothing too spectacular: the Shaarook cubesat (as they are often called this type of miniature satellites) will run for 12 minutes in a zero-gravity environment . It may seem like a small thing, but for the young Indian (part of Space Kidz India , an organization that promotes science and technology among Asian children and teenagers) is a bygone era.
Despite coming from a small southeastern Indian city, Rifarh Shaarook , has a long history as an inventor (as long as you can expect from an 18 year old boy) and at 15 already won a national contest to build a weather balloon in the India.
It’s curious. A few months ago, Jeff Bezos said that today two kids in a garage could not do anything interesting in space. But he believed he did have the potential to become “the new Internet.” And the truth is that the Shaarook story is a sign that space is getting closer .
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