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May 25th, 2017

Israel's First Environmental Research Satellite Venus Ready to Go 

A satellite. (photo credit:INGIMAGE)

Venus, the first Israeli-built satellite meant for environmental research and monitoring, is being sent to French Guiana, from where it will soon be launched.

Workers at Israel Aircraft Industries, together with those from Elbit and Rafael — who built it — will bid farewell on Thursday to the satellite before transferring it to the Israel Space Agency in the Science and Technology Ministry. Its partner in the project is the French Space Agency CNES. Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis will be on hand at the ceremony in Yahud.

The satellite has a special camera that is able to see details, some of them even invisible to the naked eye. It will photograph large swathes of land, each covering 700 square kilometers and supply scientists with dozens of images every day. is equipped with an innovative electric propulsion system manufactured by Rafael for operation in a special orbit.

The satellite weighs 265 kilos and will after launching reach a height of 720 kilometers from Earth within two days. It is meant for monitoring agricultural land from space for environmental studies, following the condition of forests and plants on land and studying the quality of bodies of water.  by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich The Jerusalem Post