Kannur, Malappuram girls beam with pride as SSLV-D2 lifts off with student satellite

Students and teachers of St Cornelius Higher Secondary School, Kolayad, Kannur, who were part of ISRO's SSLV-D2 mission. Photo: Manorama.

Chennai: When India’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), carrying three satellites, blasted off successfully only for the second time ever, it was a mission accomplished not just for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), but also for a group of girl students, including from Kerala.

The country can be proud of the fact that one of the three satellites placed in orbit, the AzaadiSAT 2.0, is the combined effort of about 750 girl students from 75 schools. Two schools from God’s own country — Cheriyam Government High School, Mankada, Malappuram, and St Cornelius Higher Secondary School, Kolayad, Kannur, too, have walked into the history books with the successful launch.

Ten girl students from the Cornelius HSS, under the active guidance of High School teachers Midhun P A (Physics), Roy Chacko (Physics), Jomatt M J (Social Science), and the Higher Secondary teacher Unnikrishnan (Biology), were part of the mission.

“We’re extremely happy to be part of the country’s satellite mission,” Roy Chacko told Manorama Online. He, however, added none of the students could make it to Sriharikota for the rocket launch since the Class 10 examinations are progressing.

Teacher Unnikrishnan came to know about the project through his acquaintance Hareesh, who is one of the administrators of the Rotary Club, Venghara, Pazhayangadi.

The AzaadiSAT project was conceived to mark the country's 75th Independence Day.

“Our school too decided to participate. High School students V Swatika, P Krishnendu, Shreya Mariya Sunil, Niya P Dinesh, T Niranjana, Trisha Vinod, Teertha Prashant, Niya M Nambiar, Sajja Fathima, and Shriya Shekhar were selected for the mission. It was the Chennai-based StartUp Space Kidz India that was behind the unique project.”

“We were given the assignment to come up with a programming that would help in determining temperature control in space and the atmospheric structure. For this, they sent us the software and the chips and briefed us on how to go about the task. The programming will be transferred to the chip using software called Ardino. It was the students themselves who did everything under the guidance of the teachers. We sent the completed project back in September 2022. However, with that turning out to be a failure, they approached us again. We then did the programming again and successfully submitted the same in October,” said a beaming Roy Chacko.

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