Israel launches advanced satellite into space This Morning

ofek_a.jpg

Israeli space program marks another successful launch, as TECSAR joins other Israeli intelligence, observation and commercial satellites hovering in orbit

Hanan Greenberg

Published: 01.21.08, 08:42 / Israel News

var agt=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();var is_major = parseInt(navigator.appVersion);var is_ie = ((agt.indexOf(“msie”) != -1) && (agt.indexOf(“opera”) == -1));var is_ie5 = (is_ie && (is_major == 4) && (agt.indexOf(“msie 5.0″)!=-1) ); function txt_link(type,url,urlAtts) { switch (type){ case ‘external’ : if( urlAtts != ” ) {var x = window.open(unescape(url),’newWin’,urlAtts)} else {document.location = unescape(url);} break; case ‘article’ : urlStr = ‘/articles/0,7340,L-to_replace,00.html’;url=urlStr.replace(‘to_replace’,url); if( urlAtts == ” || !urlAtts) {document.location = url;} else {var x = window.open(url,’newWin’,urlAtts)} break; case ‘yaan’ : urlStr = ‘/yaan/0,7340,L-to_replace,00.html’;url=urlStr.replace(‘to_replace’,url); if( urlAtts == ” || !urlAtts) {document.location = url;} else {var x = window.open(url,’newWin’,urlAtts)} break; case ‘category’ : urlStr = ‘/home/0,7340,L-to_replace,00.html’; url=urlStr.replace(‘to_replace’,url); if( urlAtts == ” || !urlAtts) {document.location = url;} else {var x = window.open(url,’newWin’,urlAtts)} break; } } function setDbLinkCategory(url) {eval(unescape(url));} The Indian Space Agency launched an Israeli satellite into orbit Monday.

The satellite – TECSAR – is a commercial intelligence satellite, designed for collecting intelligence and footage from space. The 772lbs satellite was sent into orbit atop an Indian missile.

TECSAR is said to have enhanced footage technology, which will allow it to transmit clearer images regardless of daytime and weather conditions, and is considered Israel’s most advances satellite in orbit to date.

The satellite was launched at 5:45 am (GMT) from east India, with both Israeli and Indian space engineers commanding the process. Some 80 minutes after the launch, the Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) ground station began receiving TECSAR’s first signals.

Satellite examined before launch (Photo: IAI)

“This successful launch is another example of the IAI’s leading capabilities as far as the Israeli space program is concerned,” IAI CEO Itzhak Nissan told Ynet.

Eyes in the Sky

TECSAR joins several other Israeli satellites, both military and civilian, hovering in orbit; Israel launched its last satellite, Ofek-7, in June of 2007. Its predecessor, Ofek-6 failed to enter orbit and crashed into the ocean.

Ofek-7 joined the defense establishment’s Ofek-5, which has been in orbit since 2002. Israel’s first intelligence satellite, Ofek-1, was launched in 1988, with Ofek-2 debuting two years later, and Ofek-3 in 1995.

The attempted launch of the next satellite, Ofek-4, in 1998 failed; prompting the defense establishment to launch Eros-A – a commercial observation satellite, still in orbit. In April of 2006, the next observation satellite, Eros-B, joined Israel’s eyes in the sky.

Israel also has two commercial communication satellites in orbit, Amos-1 and Amos-2. TECSAR is scheduled to send its first images from space in a fortnight.

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