Israel to Launch Civilian Satellite Tuesday
Israel's first civilian photography satellite will be launched from Siberia on Tuesday at 2:30 P.M. Israel time, reported Haaretz newspaper.
The Eros, one of Israel's flagship efforts to find civilian applications for military technology, will be launched on a Russian rocket, said the paper. Israeli technicians will monitor the launch both on-site and in a special communications room in the Sheraton Tel Aviv Hotel, it added.
Once launched, the satellite will undergo a series of tests. If all goes well, it will broadcast its first pictures in a few weeks.
According to Haaretz, Eros officially has the ability to photograph objects as small as 1.8 meters, but foreign publications put its image resolution capability at better than 1 meter, making it competitive with American satellites.
Eros is also the lightest commercial satellite in the world at only 250 kilograms. This enables it to be launched relatively cheaply. Its light weight also gives it greater maneuverability, enabling it to take a series of photographs from different angles very quickly, said the paper.
The satellite will orbit the earth at a distance of 480 kilometers, and will complete one revolution every 90 minutes. It is programmed to maintain a fixed position relative to the sun so it crosses every point on the globe at exactly 12 noon in that place.
Eros was built by the Imagesat Company, a joint venture between Israel Aircraft Industries, El Op Electro Optic Industries and American and European investors from the Pegasus group, Haaretz added.
It was the vision of American businessman Steven Wilson, who serves as a consultant to the project, but was based on technology used in IAI's Ofeq-3 spy satellite, the paper said – Albawaba.com
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