Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Israel launches Spy Satellite over Iran

Israel launchs a spy satellite to keep an "eye" on Iran here.
Like its predecessor in 2000, Eros B was launched from the Svobodny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East later on Tuesday using a Russian Start-1 rocket.

It will orbit the Earth at a height of about 500 km (310 miles) and will circle the globe roughly every 95 minutes, ImageSat said.

The Eros satellites, which weigh under 350kg (770 lb), are among a number of small, lightweight satellites which Israel's space industry has perfected, Eckhaus said.

Because of the country's geographical location and small size, the space industry generally favors smaller payloads that can more easily be launched from Israeli territory.

"The fact that we are launching the satellite in Russia means that we can do so with the Earth's rotation and makes it more effective and gives it a longer life span," Eckhaus said.

Israel is only able to launch small satellites westwards over the Mediterranean Sea -- opposite to the Earth's rotation -- because it cannot risk rockets flying over its Arab neighbors to the east or debris falling on their territory.

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