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April 20, 2017 5:12 pm

Nanosatellite Built by Israeli Teens Launched Into Space

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The Israeli students behind the Duchifat 2 nanosatellite. Photo: Herzliya Science Center. – A nanosatellite built by Israeli teenagers was launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday.

Named “Duchifat 2” (Hoopoe), after Israel’s national bird, the nanosatellite is one of 28 such devices currently mapping the outer layers of the earth’s atmosphere, and the only one in the ISS built by high schoolers. The project was a joint initiative of the Israel Space Agency and the Herzliya Science Center.

Duchifat 2 is about the size of a milk carton, weighing in at roughly four pounds. It was launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station via the Atlas 5 launcher. The nanosatellite will stay in the Japanese section of the ISS for 45 days, after which astronauts will use a robotic arm to send it into space.

For two years, more than 80 Israeli high school students from Herzliya, Ofakim, Yeroham, Ofra and Hura worked to develop the satellite, with the assistance of academic engineers and Israel Aerospace Industries.

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Duchifat 1 — also developed with the cooperation of the Herzliya Science Center — was launched in June 2014 and remains active.

Herzliya Mayor Moshe Padlon said, “The Duchifat 1 and Duchifat 2 projects are an incredible achievement by any measure, and they are a testament to the success of our municipality’s…investment in education in general and in science education in particular, as well as the high level of the youth in Herzliya.”

Nanosatellite mapping helps, in part, to transfer GPS signals.

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