India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket launched with a record payload of 104 satellites today, among them two Israeli-built nanosatellites.

The super tiny blue-and-white satellites will be used for research.

The BGUSAT, Israeli academia’s first nanosatellite, measures just 10x10x30 centimeters (a little bit larger than a milk carton) and weighs five kilograms. It is outfitted with innovative new cameras that can detect climate phenomena and a guidance system that lets the operators choose the areas to shoot and research through a dedicated ground station at BGU.

BGUSAT is the result of a five year joint project between BGU, Israel Aerospace Industries and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. It will conduct Ben-Gurion University of the Negev scientific missions.

“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 SpacePharma and is designed for medical experiments. The 4.5-kilogram micro-gravity nanosatellite will examine the effect of weightlessness on materials.