One of the most advanced observation satellites in the world – developed by Israel – has launched into space, and is now orbiting the Earth.
The $186 million EROS-C3 (Earth Resources Observation Satellite) is already transmitting very-high resolution images to its ground station. They’ll be used to gather intelligence for defense purposes under complete confidentiality and data protection.
The satellite was launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, a reusable rocket that transports people and payloads into space and returns to Earth. The company, founded by Elon Musk, marked its 61st and final flight of 2022 with the Israeli satellite.
Its lightweight space camera was developed by Elbit Systems, the Israeli defense company. The satellite itself was produced by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which manufactures advanced systems for air, space, sea, land, cyber and homeland security.
It’s part of a series of Israeli commercial Earth observation satellites. The first from the series, the EROS A, was launched over two decades ago from Eastern Siberia.
The satellites are owned and operated by ImageSat International, a leader in geospatial intelligence solutions for defense and intelligence customers.
The EROS-C3 cost the company $186 million, a figure that includes the spacecraft itself, the launch, and insurance.
“Today’s launch of the EROS-C3 satellite is a further expression of the advanced technological capabilities of Israel Aerospace Industries, the space house of the State of Israel,” said Boaz Levy, IAI President and CEO.
“After much work on the satellite, during which time the best brains of the men and women of IAI worked on its development and production, the satellite has begun transmitting data to the ground station.
“Israel Aerospace Industries cooperates with government bodies, academic institutions, NGOs, and investors from both Israel and abroad, to advance technological achievements, scientific research, and the development of future space technologies.”