Students of Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Technology for Women (LBSITW) in Thiruvananthapuram develop a nanosatellite used aboard ISRO mission. WESAT, the first Indian satellite designed and developed by women, is set to study UV radiation and its impact.
The new year opened on a thrilling note for the Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Technology for Women (LBSITW) in Thiruvananthapuram with a nanosatellite developed by its students was launched aboard an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) mission on January 1 (Monday) morning.
The announcement of the mission’s success from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, was received with cheers at the LBS Institute’s seminar hall where the launch was shown live on a big screen.
WESAT, short for ‘Women Engineered SATellite,’ was launched aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle-C58/XPoSat mission as one of 10 secondary payloads. The 60th mission of the PSLV had as its main payload the XPoSAT, a dedicated scientific satellite from ISRO.
The 1.4-kg WESAT is billed as the first Indian satellite to be fully designed and developed by women. The satellite is meant to study ultraviolet radiation and its impact, according to the institute’s space club, which was responsible for its development with technical assistance from ISRO.
Lizy Abraham, Assistant Professor and Principal Investigator of the satellite project, and several members of the space club were in Sriharikota for the launch. The rest of the team watched it live at the institute with the other students and the teachers.
“It was really exciting. Five years of hard work has paid off. We have also received the initial data from WESAT,” Prof. Abraham told The Hindu from Sriharikota after the launch.
“It’s a big moment for us. The project was conceived in 2018 and ISRO had cleared it in 2019. Many of them have graduated, and we have 42 members in the club at present. In all, 150 women have worked on WESAT,” Sheril Mariam Jose, one of three coordinators of the project who had watched the mission live at the institute here, said.