Ilan Ramon was Israel's first astronaut. He was a
Payload Specialist aboard Space Shuttle mission STS-107 who was
killed when the craft disintegrated during reentry into the
Earth's atmosphere in early 2003. STS-107 was the 28th flight
of NASA Space Shuttle Columbia.
Ofeq-1 was the first satellite launched by Israel.
It was launched on September 19, 1988 on a Israeli-built Shavit
three-stage launch vehicle. Ofeq-2 was launched in 1989. Ofeq-3
was launched in April 1995. Ofeq-3 carried an advanced
electro-optical payload built by Israeli industry for local
purposes. Ofeq-3 has been functioning without a hitch. Following
a setback with Ofeq-4, Ofeq-5 was successfully launched in May
AMOS is a name for a series of Israeli
communications satellites. AMOS are developed by Israel Aircraft
Industries and operated by the private company Spacecom. AMOS 1
was the first Israeli communications satellite. Its development
was based on experience from Ofeq reconnaissance satellites in
association with DASA and Alcatel Espace. It was launched on May
16, 1996 from European Space Centre in French Guiana. AMOS 2 was
launched on December 28, 2003 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan and it
serves clients in three service regions: Middle East (including
Israel), Europe and the east coast of USA.
EROS (Earth Resources Observation Satellite) is a
series of Israeli commercial Earth observation satellites,
designed and manufactured by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI),
with optical payload supplied by El-Op. The satellites are owned
and operated by ImageSat International, another Israeli company.
EROS A was launched, on December 5, 2000 and EROS B on April 25,
TECSAR is a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)
Technology Satellite. The design, development and fabrication
activities of the satellite was led by MBT Space, a division of
the Israeli Aerospace industries with the participation of other
high tech industries such as ELTA, Tadiran Spectralink, Rafael.
The satellite is equipped with a SAR payload with the capability
to see through the clouds and carry out day and night all
It was launched into orbit by an Indian Polar
Satellite Launch Vehicle on 21 January, 2008.
Israeli Space Agency
The Israeli Space Agency was formed in 1983.
The Shavit 1 is a small, 3-stage, solid propellant
booster based on the 2-stage Jericho 2 ballistic missile. The
Shavit launches take place from the Palmahim air force base,
south of Tel Aviv. The Shavit is launched in a retrograde orbit
over the Mediterranean Sea to prevent debris coming down in
populated areas and also to avoid flying above neighbouring
countries to the east.
It was developed under the general management of
Israeli Aircraft Industries and has an upper stage designation
of AUS-51 (Advanced Upper Stage). The Shavit made its first
launch on September 19, 1998, placing the Ofeq 1 engineering
technology satellite into LEO.