To gather pinpoint intelligence on Syria, Iran and Iraq: Israel launches new spy satellite
Israel launched a spy satellite into space on Tuesday afternoon. An Israeli-made missile blasted off from an air force base on Israel's coast south of Tel Aviv, carrying the Ofek-5 spy satellite aloft.
With a white plume of smoke, the missile shot out over the sea, carrying the sophisticated satellite in the opposite direction of the earth's rotation, a safety measure to keep it away from land.
According to AP, the Ofek-5 — which means horizon in Hebrew — fills a yearlong gap in Israeli intelligence gathering caused by the failed launch of the Ofek-4 in 1998.
Ofek-5 gives Israel an extended capacity to monitor military developments in the region, experts said. Israel TV said it would concentrate its high-resolution cameras on Iran, Iraq and Syria.
All the components of the satellite were made in Israel, according to officials, including a high-resolution camera for ground pictures. (Albawaba.com)
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