When the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) workhorse launch vehicle - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), undertakes its 50th mission next week, it will be putting into space a satellite developed by Israeli high school students.

The satellite, Duchifat-3, whose mission objective is remote sensing, is among the nine customer satellites which will be on board the PSLV mission when it blasts off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Sriharikota on December 11.

These international customer satellites are being launched under a commercial arrangement with New Space India Limited.

The Duchifat-3 is an experimental satellite developed by students of the Herzliya Science Centre’s Space Laboratory. It will be carrying on-board payloads for earth imaging.

Duchifat-3 will be the third student satellite to be launched in the Duchifat series of satellites.

In 2014 the first student nano-satellite Duchifat-1 was launched aboard the Dnepr launcher. This was followed by the Duchifat-2 which was launched by the Atlas-5 launcher.

Apart from Duchifat-2, the other foreign satellites are Radar Imaging Earth Observation Satellite QPS-SAR from Japan and Tyvak-0092 from Italy whose mission objective is Search and Rescue. In addition there are six US satellites - the Tyvak-0129, four Lemur satellites and one HOPSAT satellite. This will be the 75th launch vehicle mission from SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota and the 37th launch from the First Launch pad.