IIST co-building satellite with California, Surrey institutes

Chennai: After launching several satellites built by students of different universities, the ISRO will launch one built by the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) in collaboration with California Institute of Technology, an Indian space agency official said.

“The IIST is designing a satellite along with California Institute of Technology,” ISRO Chairman K.Sivan, told IANS.

On January 24, an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) will put into orbit Kalamsat, a payload developed by students and SpaceKidz India.

While the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been putting into orbit satellites built by Indian universities and educational institutions since 2009, the non-building of a satellite by IIST was noticeable.

The IIST is an autonomous body under the Department of Space and is a deemed university inaugurated in 2007.

According to the California Institute of Technology, the student-designed and -built satellite would be a test bed for a new type of space telescope and is called AAReST (Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope).

The AAReST is designed and built in large part by students of California Institute of Technology in collaboration with IIST and Surrey Space Centre in England.