Second major space achievement this year as Israel launched “The Venus” into space Wednesday; Satellite will provide data for studying ecology and agriculture
Israel launched the world’s smallest environmental research satellite from French Guiana on Wednesday.
The satellite was launched into space alongside a second satellite, the “OPTSTAT-3000” an Italian military observation satellite.
“The Venus” is a joint project between the Israel Space Agency and France’s Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales. All components of the satellite were made in Israel, the “Venus” the smallest environmental satellite made to date.
Venus stands for “Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro Satellite” the satellite to collect data to help scientists study earth’s agriculture and ecology, as well as issues such as desertification, pollution and natural disasters.
The satellite is capable of operating at 12 different wavelengths and will rotate the earth 29 times in 48 hours. It will take photos and collect data from the same locations over the next few years, collecting data on temperatures, soil and water to allow scientists to study changes in the environment.
Earlier this year, Israel’s Space Communications, Spacecom, successfully began operating its latest communications satellite, Amos-7. Amos-7 replaced the Amos-2 that was launched in 2003 as well as the Amos-5 that was launched in 2011, Spacecom losing contact with the satellite due to power failure in 2015.
Amos-7 is the latest satellite success following the failure of Amos-6 when the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launcher exploded during a fueling test in Florida in September of 2016.
The new communications satellite will provide services for the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia and will join the Amos-3 and Amos-4, the company releasing the statement “Co-located with Amos-3, Amos-7 is replacing the Amos-2 satellite that is reaching the end of life after servicing customers for over 13 years.”
The satellite has a life expectancy of 15 years and “supports Ku-band steerable and fixed beams, delivering the capacity and frequencies required for a range of advanced broadcast and broadband services” that will provide Direct-To-Home (DTH) TV, Video distribution to cable head-ends, VSAT communications and Broadband Internet.