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Russian, Indian students creating friendship satellite

The satellite will be launched into orbit by a Progress cargo spacecraft

NEW DELHI, August 16. /TASS/. Students from Space Kidz India (SKI) organizaiton and Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) have been creating a joint satellite, which will become a "friendship satellite," Space Kidz India founder Dr. Srimathy Kesan told TASS.

According to her, it will be the first satellite created by students and not by official space institutions. "This is a friendship satellite, designed by collaborative method by students from two non-governmental institutions, marking the friendship between the two countries," she said.

The Iskra-5 CubeSat 1U satellite, weighing 1.5 kilograms, will provide amateur communications, including transmission of images in SSTV format. Dr. Kesan said that there would be some commemorative signs on the satellite’s body, marking the 70th anniversary of Russian-Indian diplomatic relations. She added that the project involved 12 Indian students and more than 20 Russians.

"The satellite will be launched into orbit by a Progress cargo spacecraft delivering it to the International Space Station," she said adding that "the launch of the Iskra-5 satellite into outer space will be implemented during a spacewalk by a cosmonaut in the early 2018."

The Space Kidz India founder went on to say that since Russia’s space missions had been the first in the world, she "decided to take students to visit the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC)." "In April 2016, we visited both GCTC and MAI and had detailed discussions about the cooperation, and from then on both the institutions have extended their fullest support and also the Ambassador status to Space Kidz India," Dr. Kesan noted.

According to the MAI website, the joint projects with Space Kidz India will mark a new step in partnership between young scientists from different countries.

Cooperation between SKI and MAI

Space Kidz India founder Dr. Srimathy Kesan told TASS that during her visit to MAI in April 2016, she "was ecstatic to see the university and the lab facilities and also the interaction with professors." "I had the opportunity to visit many universities around the world, but MAI was and is definitely unique, and hence I wished to extend the hand of cooperation," she added.

She also expressed gratitude to the Russian General Consulate and Russian Center for Science and Culture in India’s Chennai for their support for the project.

In February 2016, she invited Kyrghyz cosmonaut Shalizhan Sharipov to Chennai for the National Science day, "introduced him to the enthusiastic students of India and requested him to give us the necessary permissions to bring Indian students into GCTC." "Space Kidz India had the opportunity to take two groups of students to GCTC and MAI between 2016 October - June 2017," she said.

Space Kidz India, headquartered in Chennai, works "towards promoting art, culture, science and technology among students of India, while creating an international platform for them.".