It was an unforgettable moment for the 10 students of St. Cornelius Higher Secondary School at Kolayad in Kannur when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched the second edition of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV-D2) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, on Friday.

The students got an opportunity to be part of the mission to develop a controlled payload for the satellite, which will determine temperature control and atmospheric structure for SSLV-D2. They used the Raspberry Pi to complete the coding work within two days.

The rocket carried payloads, and AzaadiSat2.0, one of the three satellites placed in orbit, was built by 750 girl students from across the country under the guidance of Chennai-based start-up Space Kidz, said P. Mithun, a physics teacher who helped the children during the phase of coding. Besides St. Cornelius, the only other school from Kerala to participate in the mission was Cheriyam Government High School, Mankada, Malappuram.

Mr. Mithun said the ISRO’s first mission in August 2022 had failed due to orbit anomaly and flight path deviation. The students who were part of the mission even visited Sriharikota to witness the launch.

Though their excitement was short-lived, they were even more eager to programme the chip for the second mission with guidance from teachers including Mr. Mithun, Roy Chacko, Jomet M.J., and P Unnikrishnan and Space Kidz staff.

Shriya Sekhar, a Standard 10 student who was part of the team that programmed the chip, said that during the first mission, they were a bit hesitant and unsure if they would be able to do it. But with the support of teachers and Space Kidz, they were able to deliver the chip within two days in September 2022.

“We were full of excitement when we were invited for the launch of the first mission. But all that was dampened when the mission failed. However, they got an opportunity to join the next mission, and they completed the work as instructed,” she said.

The other students who were part of the team were V. Swatika, Niya M. Nambiar, P. Krishnendu, Sajja Fathima, Shreya Mariya Sunil, Niya P. Dinesh, T. Niranjana, Teertha Prashant, and Trisha Vinod.