The Indian Space Research Organization, the country’s national space agency, set a record on Wednesday by launching 104 satellites from a single rocket—with two Israeli-built research nanosatellites among them.
One of them is the BGUSAT, Israeli academia’s first nanosatellite. It measures just 10x10x30 centimeters (a little bit larger than a milk carton) and weighs five kilograms (11 pounds). It is outfitted with innovative new cameras that can detect climate phenomena, as well as a guidance system that lets the operators choose the areas to shoot and research through a dedicated ground station at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva.
BGUSAT is the result of a five year joint project between BGU, Israel Aerospace Industries, and Israel’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and Space.
“Nanosatellites enable space engineering and space research at costs that are affordable for academia. The reduced costs allow academia to assume a much more active role in the field taking advantage of the innovation and initiative of researchers and students,” said Prof. Dan Blumberg, BGU’s VP and Dean for R&D.
The second civilian nanosatellite on the Indian payload belongs to the startup SpacePharma and is designed for medical experiments. The 4.5-kilogram (10 pound) micro-gravity nanosatellite will examine the effect of weightlessness on materials.
[Photo: Israel21c ]