Tiny satellite designed by Israeli students launched

Duchifat 1, which weighs only 840 grams, will orbit earth every 90 minutes and help locate lost travelers

A nano-satellite made in Israel (photo credit: CC BY-SA Royroy903 Wikimedia Commons)
A nano-satellite made in Israel (photo credit: CC BY-SA Royroy903 Wikimedia Commons)

A minuscule satellite designed by a group of Israeli high school students was launched into space Thursday from a site in Russia. The satellite, Duchifat 1, weighs a mere 840 grams (1.9 pounds) and was developed by students at the Herzliya Science Center. The satellite is the first Israeli spacecraft of its kind to orbit the earth.

Nearly 200 students took part in the satellite’s construction and development over the past couple of years. Forty of the students, aged 16-17, perfected the spacecrafts’s design and gave it its final touches in the last few months.

Duchifat 1, built with the help of the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science, is meant to assist in locating lost travelers in areas with no cellphone reception, Walla reported. The satellite is solar powered and is expected to remain in orbit for the next 20 years.

The tiny space satellite, which was attached to a 34-ton rocket, entered orbit after the rocket was launched from the Yasny launch base in Russia. The satellite will orbit Earth at an altitude of around 370 miles above the planet’s surface at a speed of about 16,800 miles per hour, circling the entire globe every hour-and-a-half. It was launched along with other satellites from the Netherlands, Denmark, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Singapore, Ukraine and the US, Ynet reported.

“The launch today marks the beginning of the nano-satellite era in Israel,” said Minister of Science, Technology and Space Yaakov Peri.

“The project is part of the great technological advances in space research, a field which once was exclusive only to big corporations and governments. There is now accessibility for satellite research and space technology for institutes and universities as well.”

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed