Science and Technology Minister Eliezer Sandberg and Aby Har-Even, director general of the Israel Space Agency, will visit New Delhi and India's hi-tech hub Bangalore on their 22-25 December trip, said the Israeli embassy in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The Israeli and Indian space programme would sign a pact to launch Tauvex, a set of three telescopes able to image ultraviolet sky, on board India's GSAT-4 satellite, said the embassy. 
  
Tauvex, developed by Tel Aviv University, is designed to study black holes, the formation of stars and other astronomical phenomena, which could identify further research for other space telescopes such as the US Hubble.
  
Israel was originally to launch Tauvex through the Russian space programme, but the plan has been delayed by budget constraints in Moscow, said the embassy.
  
"Tauvex on the GSAT-4 offers a unique opportunity to perform first-class science that would locate Indian and Israeli scientists in the frontline of space astrophysics," said an embassy statement.
  
India and Israel established diplomatic relations only in 1992, but have since rapidly expanded cooperation, particularly in defence and science.