Israel launched the spy satellite “Ofek 10” into space on Wednesday evening. The launch was conducted by the Ministry of Defense at the Palmachim Air Force Base in central Israel.
"The successful launch of the 'Ofek 10' satellite is additional proof of Israel's remarkable technological capabilities," Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Thursday. "The 'Ofek 10' satellite will improve the State of Israel's ability to collect intelligence and allow the defense community to better manage threats near and far, at all hours of the day and in all weather conditions. We continue to strengthen our qualitative advantage and significant technological superiority over our neighbors.
"I would like to thank everyone – the Defense Ministry, Space Agency in MAFAT, Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Military Industries, Elbit and Rafael – for their continued development of world-leading advanced systems designed to protect Israel and its citizens. Israel has been blessed with an exceptionally creative and professional military industry whose determination to guarantee the security of the State of Israel and its citizens, and ability to reach new technological heights time after time, has allowed us to flourish and grow."
Video released Thursday shows preparations for the launch and the launch itself, as well as an animated rendition of its subsequent entry into orbit.
Upon entering orbit, “Ofek 10” will conduct a series of tests to verify that it is up to the accepted levels of performance.
“Ofek 10” is an observation radar-based satellite, with advanced photocapabilities in both day and night and in all weather conditions.
The satellite is capable of photographing objects the size of half a meter and it will circle the earth once every 99 minutes.
The last spy satellite that Israel launched into space was the “Ofek 9” and that launching took place in June of 2010. The “Ofek 10” is the sixth spy satellite operated by Israel and it can be very helpful in monitoring sites across the world.