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ISRO launches four satellites from Sriharikota

Oct 12, 2011 08:42 AM IST India India

New Delhi: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched four big satellites on Wednesday from theSatish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Two of the satellites have been made by the students of IIT Kanpur and SRM University.

Guruditya Sinha, Student, SRM-SAT Project, said, "The main objective is to measure carbon dioxide and water vapour in the cities above India. To check how much Indian cities are contributing to climate change."

After Anusat and Studsat, it's the third student satellite to go up in the air.

Vishal Latha Balakumar, Student, SRM-SAT Project, said, "This chip is used in our cell phones. We are using it in our satellite. We are also using a flash memory very similar to a normal USB drive in the satellite. The objective is to use commercially available equipment and see how they survive in the radiation of space.

Tiny student satellites are a cheap, quick way of testing new ideas. For example, this satellite uses magnets, not motors to control its space flight.

Anushree Mahapatra, Student, SRM-SAT Project, said, "We have copper coils on three sides of the satellite. When we send electricity through them, a magnetic effect is generated. Since the earth already has a magnetic field, both fields cancel each other to keep the satellite exactly aligned.

THE SRM project employed fifty four students. But only four of them are women. Is it tough being outnumbered?

Anushree Mahapatra, Student, SRM-SAT Project, said, "Since we are all here on the basis of our ability, my male friends treat me like a colleague. There is no problem."

M Loganathan, a retired ISRO scientist, who taught these students, says lack of industry support was a big problem. We wanted some components from the industry and they asked for almost 40 lakh rupees. How can students afford so much?

But don't students have to be geniuses to make a complex satellite?

Loganathan, Project Architect, SRM-SAT Project, said, "Space works on simple laws of physics, mainly Newtons law. If you are good in the basic concepts of space, you can be a space scientist."