Bengaluru: The satellite design and launching project by government school students has been named after late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar and is called the Puneeth Rajkumar Student Satellite Project. It will be launched by September 2022.
Presiding over a function held at the government pre-university college in Malleshwara on the occasion of National Science Day and inauguration of the Karnataka Government School Students’ Satellite Project (KGS3Sat) C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Minister for Science and Technology, made this announcement on Monday.
An MoU inked between the Karnataka Science and Technology Promotion Society (KSTePS) and the Indian Technological Congress Association (ITCA) for the implementation of the project was exchanged on the occasion. This is one of the 75 satellites to be launched in the country to celebrate 75 years of independence.
The ground station of the project will be set up in the premises of the college and 100 students from 20 government schools have been selected based on their performance in various competitions and tests, Narayan stated. The proposed satellite will weigh 1.5 kg, he added.
A few years back, any satellite would have weighed a minimum of 50 kgs and the project would have cost about Rs 50-Rs 60 crore. But the development of technology has made it possible to reduce the satellite weight to just 1.5 kg while the project cost has been reduced to Rs 1.90 crore.
Introductory programmes both Online & Offline, hands-on learning, and tutorial models in Kannada and English languages will be part of this project. The web links of the required content will be provided to students and classes related to this will commence from April 22, Narayan informed.
Knowledge of satellite payload, introduction to nano satellites, visiting scientific institutions located in Bengaluru, visiting Sriharikota during the launch of the satellite, interaction with scientists, training at the ground station, publication of required books, and other activities will be part of the project.
In his inaugural speech, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, MP, Bengaluru North, said the way to social empowerment lies in scientific research and innovation. Curiosity should be created in students right from the beginning and it needs to be sustained constantly, he added.
Prof S. Ayyappan, Padma Shri awardee and Chairman, Karnataka Science and Technological Academy, said at present there are not more than 5 lakh researchers in the entire country. He added that their number needs to increase drastically to take the country on the path of progress.