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Team led by Indian-American student selected by NASA to measure radiation energy around Earth

A team led by 21-year-old Keshav Raghavan is developing its CubeSat to measure radiation around the earth and possibly assist in ongoing research into the origins of our universe.

Think Change India
16th Apr 2019
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Man and his fascination for the mysteries of the universe have been chronicled for centuries. And with the latest tech on our hands, scientists, astrophysicists, and space engineers are discovering new wonders every year.


Take, for example, the recent release of the first image of the black hole, thanks to the work of graduate Katie Bouman, whose algorithm helped us see the spectacle that is a million light years away from earth.


The team behind the CubSat BLAST, source Yale University


Also read: Meet Katie Bouman, the young scientist who worked on the algorithm that helped create the image of the Black Hole



As we take further steps towards understanding our universe, students too don’t want to be left behind on the space exploration front, and are reaching for the stars. And 21-year-old Keshav Raghavan, an Indian-American student at Yale Undergraduate Aerospace Association (YUAA), is one of them.


A team led by Keshav is developing its CubeSat, named BLAST, His team is one of the 16 teams across the US whose CubeSats have been selected by NASA to be launched into space in 2020, 2021, and 2022, reports Business Today.


Representational image, source NASA


Also read: This Indian startup is cutting the cost of putting satellites in space, making them last longer



CubeSats are small, compact versions of satellites, having dimensions of 10x10x10cm. They are quite inexpensive and fit with ease along with large commercial satellites aboard.


According to NASA, BLAST is a scientific investigation mission to map the distribution of galactic cosmic radiation across the night sky.


In a press release, it stated,


Bouchet Low-Earth Alpha/Beta Space Telescope, or BLAST, is a scientific investigation mission to map the distribution of galactic cosmic radiation across the night sky. The satellite will identify and count alpha particles and beta particles in the rays and measure the radiation energy around Earth. BLAST will contribute to the ongoing search for the origins and nature of these rays, which will provide insight into the origins of the universe.


The team received the launch grant through NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative competition. Now, it is building its CubeSat at Wright Lab in Ohio, US.


In terms of assistance, the team is being guided by senior engineer Milo Brandt, and YUAA Co-President Andrew Krywosz, reports IndiaWest.


According to Andrew, the spending required for making CubeSats is about $30,000. However, the one developed by Keshav’s team costs between $13,000 and $20,000.


The team expects that its CubeSat will be ready for launch in a year’s time.



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Also read: Spy in the sky: ISRO to launch electronic intelligence satellite ‘EMISAT’ for DRDO on April 1


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