His Excellency Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the Former President of India and a world-renowned Space Scientist, was keen on encouraging the students in India to take active interest in the emerging Technologies, including Space Tech, as these significantly impact our daily lives. For India to continue to make impressive strides and leadership role in Space Technology, the youth of India must get interested, and deeply involved in Space Technology, Cube Satellites, Micro-gravity Research, etc. This nationwide competition is to encourage and stimulate that enthusiasm in Space Technology and operational Cube Satellites among the youth of India, as envisioned by Dr. Abdul Kalam.
'Abdul Kalam Vision India Movement', Chennai, TN, India (AKVIM)
'Aeolus Aero Tech Pvt. Ltd,' Bengaluru, India (AAT)
Retired Scientists, from ISRO and Space Tech Experts - India, collaborating with AAT
International 'We Serve' Foundation, Inc., Lexington, KY, USA (IWSF)
Objectives A Nationwide Quest To Select AK-EDUSAT TEAM
To encourage students in India pursue a career in Space Technology
To identify through a national contest, TEN (10) Student-teams in India (ii) to be guided and mentored by reputed Space Technology Experts (iii) to design, develop, validate an operational Cube Satellite 'AK-EDU-SAT-001'. Once completed and is proven to be fully operational, suitable for deployment, the Promoters shall recognize the teams appropriately for their historic participation. This contest shall provide an interactive, high-tempo, dynamic opportunity for students in high schools and colleges in India to participate in a nation-wide competition.
To launch a CubeSat to enhance education and Knowledge Connectivity (subject to several external factors described below)
The Promoters provide their services and expertise totally free. They seek sufficient funds to cover the financial needs of the entire project, (including, but not limited to) (i) the actual cost of hardware & software (ii) validation (iii) recognize the participating teams (iv) fees for licensing / approvals (v) liability other insurance (vi) ground station set up (vii) global relay network (viii) plan, arrange and successfully launch the 'AK-EDU-SAT-001', (ix) receiving stations all over India, (x) install, operate and maintain the entire system for a minimum of five years, etc.
To network all digital learning facilities in India
(i) Seek the approval from respective Regional / National / International authorities, and regulatory bodies, to launch the 'AK-EDU-SAT-001' (ii) Arrange successful Cube-Sat launch (iii) establish V-Sat connectivity with Smart Classrooms, Digital Libraries, Dynamic Knowledge Centers, Rural & Urban Women Empowerment Centers, Rural & Urban Youth Skills Development Centers, Adult Education Centers, Rural, Urban & Mobile Tele-Medicine connectivity, etc.
Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchiwere privileged to have Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Hon’ble Former President of India at their 5th Convocation on 19th May, 2015 last year. It was the last convocation that he addressed.
Although former President APJ.Abdul Kalam is no more, he will continue to inspire all. On the occasion of his birthday on 15th October, Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi released his convocation address on its website and YouTube channel.
In great news for india, scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after the much - loved
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Solibacillus kalamii has been found only on the International Space Station and not on Earth.
In great news for India, scientists at NASA have named a new organism discovered by them after the much-loved A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Till date, the new organism — a form of bacteria — has been found only on the International Space Station (ISS) and has not been found on earth!
Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the foremost lab of NASA for work on interplanetary travel, discovered the new bacteria on the filters of the International Space Station (ISS) and named it Solibacillus kalamii to honour the late President, who was a renowned aerospace scientist.
His tryst with NASA
Dr. Kalam had his early training at NASA in 1963 before he set up India’s first rocket-launching facility in the fishing village of Thumba in Kerala.
“The name of the bacterium is Solibacillus kalamii, the species name is after Dr. Abdul Kalam and genus name is Solibacillus which is a spore-forming bacteria,” said Dr. Kasthuri Venkateswaran, senior research scientist, Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group at JPL.
The filter on which the new bug was found remained on board the ISS for 40 months. Called a high-efficiency particulate arrestance filter or HEPA filter, this part is the routine housekeeping and cleaning system on board the international space station.
This filter was later analysed at JPL and only this year did Dr. Venkateswaran publish his discovery in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
Astronauts share space with them
According to Dr. Venkateswaran, even as it orbits the earth some 400 kilometres above, the ISS is home to many types of bacteria and fungi which co-inhabit the station with the astronauts who live and work on the station.
Dr. Venkateswaran said even though Solibacillus kalamii has never been found on earth till date, it is really not an extra-terrestrial life form or ET.
“I am reasonably sure it has hitch-hiked to the space station on board some cargo and then survived the hostile conditions of space,” he explained.
Naming the new microbe after Dr. Kalam was natural to Dr. Venkateswaran and his team. “Being a fellow Tamilian, I am aware of the huge contributions by Dr. Kalam,” he said.
New bacteria are usually named after famous scientists.
Is anybody out there?
Dr. Venkateswaran is part of a team which is asking that eternal question: “Are we alone in the universe?”
Towards that, his responsibilities include monitoring the bug levels on the ISS and he also has to ensure that all spacecraft that fly to other planets are free of terrestrial bugs.
One of his big jobs was to ensure that NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover — the massive car-sized almost 1000 kg buggy — was totally sterile when it left earth.
By international law, this extreme hygiene is required or else other planets could get contaminated by bugs hidden on human satellites.
Today the ISS is the size of a football field and its construction started with a launch in 1998 and as of now it is the largest human-made object orbiting the earth.
Weighing about 419 tonnes, it can house a maximum of six astronauts and has costs roughly USD 150 billion.
With numbers, hygiene is crucial
Till date, 227 astronauts have flown to the space station. This makes the space station actually a very dirty place and maintaining hygiene is critical so that humans can live on it with ease.
On the space station all the air and water is recycled, being a completely closed environment there is a rapid build-up of moulds and bacteria on the station.
These not only have to be cleaned but monitored to ensure that they do not corrode the walls of the space station and do not turn hazardous to the astronauts.
Dr. Venkateswaran’s main job is to monitor the environment of the space station so that harmful bugs do not proliferate.
He heads the ‘Microbial Observatory’ on the ISS projects to measure microorganisms associated with compartments owned by the U.S.
According to NASA, he also directs several research and development tasks for the JPL — Mars Program Office, which enables the cleaning, sterilisation, and validation of spacecraft components. He directs several NASA competitive awards on the microbial monitoring of spacecraft and associated environments for the Exploration System Mission Directorate, closed habitats like ISS or its earth analogues for the Human Exploration and Operation Mission Directorate.
But is the new bug of some use?
“These spore formers tend to withstand high radiation and also produce some useful compounds protein-wise which will be helpful for biotechnology applications,” Dr. Venkateswaran said.
His team has not characterised the bacteria fully but he hints that the new bug could be a key source for chemicals that can help protect against radiation damage.