New Eye in the Sky

Israel with little fanfare had a successful satellite launch today, based out of Russia.

The first Eros launched in 2000The Erosb is the second launch of this class of satelite, a daytime only optical machine capable of some nifty look down ability. The launch, to keep an ever vigilant eye on Iranian developments.

LAUNCHED FROM RUSSIA - Reuters

Like its predecessor in 2000, Eros B is set to be launched from the Svobodny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East later on Tuesday using a Russian Start-1 rocket.

It will orbit the Earth at a height of about 310 miles and will circle the globe roughly every 95 minutes, ImageSat said.

The Eros satellites, which weigh under 770 lb, are among a number of small, lightweight satellites which Israel’s space industry has perfected, Eckhaus said.

Because of the country’s geographical location and small size, the space industry generally favors smaller payloads that can more easily be launched from Israeli territory.

"The fact that we are launching the satellite in Russia means that we can do so with the Earth’s rotation and makes it more effective and gives it a longer life span," Eckhaus said.

Israel is only able to launch small satellites westwards over the Mediterranean Sea — opposite to the Earth’s rotation — because it cannot risk rockets flying over its Arab neighbors to the east or debris falling on their territory [...]

It should be noted the launch was a success, mazal tov!

This little baby will be spinning round the planet thankfully, but it is not as advanced as Israel’s Offek5 satellite, the big boy on campus. Israel lost an additional Offek class satellite last year on launch (I think it was) sadly before it could get to orbit, so this smaller optical eye will enhance capabilities for the time, Israel is going to need it in order to stay abreast of any or all threats developing.

Mofaz weighs in..

Mofaz: We count only on ourselves - Hanan Greenberg Ynet and AP

The successful launch of Israel’s newest spy satellite is a "huge achievement" and shows Israel can only count on itself to when it comes to defending the Jewish state, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz says.

"This is a huge achievement for the defense establishment, defense industries, and the State of Israel," Mofaz said. "The satellite will enhance the ability to gather high-quality intelligence far away from the country’s borders."

"The State of Israel again proved that it counts first and foremost on itself in defending its citizens and acts at all times to improve capabilities and develop advanced systems to address the threats around us," he said. "The ability to provide security depends not only on the persistence and determinate of security forces, but also on directing resources to research and development projects." [...]

There’s been some harsh words spoken in Israel by a number of important speakers regarding the Iranian threat this Holocaust Remembrance day, in the face of Assmad in Iran’s constant denial of reality, rhetoric and hitleresque words and style.

Israel’s official line is the Iranian problem is an International one, which it clearly is. But it should not be considered for even a second that failing any resolution of the issue internationally, Israel won’t take actions to ensure the safety of the Jewish people from outspoken harm. Such action was taken even today..

Photo Credit: Reuters file photo launch of Eros1 in Dec 2000.

  • Interesting contrast between Israel’s quiet, competent launch of this satellite, and Iran’s blustering PR about it’s super fast, radar evading torpedos that no ship in the world can escape, and so on.

  • That’s a very good point!