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Israel launches Ofek 11 spy satellite

Ofek 11 is Israel’s seventh surveillance satellite; it will allow Israel to conduct close and unlimited surveillance of developments in the Middle East.

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Two years after the launch of Ofek 10, Israel’s Ministry of defense and Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI) today successfully launched the reconnaissance satellite Ofek 11 which is able to identify objects just dozens of centimeters in size.
The Photography satellite went into its planned orbit around the Earth and contact was established with it, but there is some concern following negative indications. Ofek 11 should begin sending images and cover the entire Middle East almost immediately, but it will take few days before it is clear whether the launch has been completely successful.
Officials told the press Tuesday “There are indications according to which things aren’t working as we expected, and so we are trying to stabilize (the satellite). There are things that make us worried. The satellite orbits the earth once every hour and a half. It’s possible that some systems are not in the correct condition, ”

The launch comes less than two weeks after the Amos 6 communications satellite, built by IAI for Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd., was destroyed on the launch pad when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket exploded in Florida.

This is the seventh spy satellite launched by Israel. Ofek 11, costing $300 million, joins Ofek 10 and Ofek 9, which was launched in June 2010.

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