On a per-capita basis, Israel may have the world’s most developed space program, say Space News. “With a population no greater than New York City’s, Israel is home to at least two publicly traded pure-play space companies — telecommunications satellite fleet operator Spacecom and satellite broadband ground hardware provider Gilat Satellite Networks.” Space News add.
This week Israel Space Agency, hosts International Astronautical Congress featured leading space agency directors and famed moonwalker Buzz Aldrin. On Wednesday NASA Signs Cooperation Agreement With Israel Space Agency.
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While Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced it has recently commenced construction of new observation satellites, employing either Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) or electro-optical payloads.
These innovative new satellites will utilize the advanced technologies, experience and know-how developed over the years by IAI, and provide the users with cutting edge performance. The new satellites are planned to be launched from 2018 onwards.
Eros C, is a commercial high-resolution imagery satellite for ImageSat International (ISI). Eros C, weighing less than 400 kg, will join Eros-A and Eros-B in orbit in 2018. Eros-C will allow ISI to offer its commercial customers high-quality imagery and superior resolution, increased coverage and improved accuracies.
Under construction is the unique satellite TECSAR, which employs a Synthetic Aperture Radar payload, designed to provide images during day, night and under all weather conditions. IAI was a pioneer in this field, launching its first TECSAR satellite in 2008, and has since continuously improved its capabilities. With very high resolution, and extremely high maneuverability due to its light weight, TECSAR is designed to provide a wide range of tactical intelligence capabilities to demanding users.
Among the new satellites is also the lightweight, highly maneuverable OPTSAT 3000 which includes a large, 70 cm diameter telescope that provides resolutions better than 40 cm and enables extremely flexible intelligence gathering.
IAI president & CEO Joseph Weiss said, “These satellites join an impressive family of satellites developed, produced, launched and operated by IAI. We are very proud to be standing at the forefront of the field of advanced observation satellites. We aim to maintain this strategic position even as it evolves and performance continues to improve – achieving the performance of large satellites in a small, affordable package. This is further proof of IAI’s considerable technological and engineering capabilities”.
These new satellites join, among others, the 5.3 ton AMOS 6 communication satellite, Italian OPTSAT 3000 and the scientific Venus observation satellite currently being built at IAI for the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and France Space Agency (CNES).