For the young pupils from the Herzliya Science Center, developing space satellites has become commonplace. After their success with "Duchifat" (Hoopoe) I, their second satellite, weighing in at 1.8 kg (4 lbs.), Duchifat (Hoopoe) II was just launched from Cape Canaveral.
Israel's National Bird, Photo by Doron Horowitz, GPO
Duchifat 2 was developed as part of the European Union's QB50 project (@QB50Mission) and at the initiative of the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and the Herzliya Municipality. It was launched on the Atlas 5 to the International Space Station along with a swarm of 28 tiny satellites prepared by pupils from around the world. Duchifat 2 was the only satellite of the project's original 50 to be developed solely by its pupils.
The Kids, Photo by Roi Greenberg
After reaching the International Space Station, Duchifat 2 will be projected into space using a special robotic arm in six weeks' time where it will begin to operate. The data received from the satellite, in-situ measurements in the lower thermosphere, will be transferred to the ground station at the Herzliya Science Center, where it will be interpreted by the pupils.
A year later, the satellites are expected to fly, flare, and decompose in the atmosphere 90 kilometers above Earth.