The Israel Space Agency is sponsored by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, and is responsible for the coordination and supervision of all the activities of the civilian space program. The Space Agency is based on the recognition of the importance of research and development. The Agency supports scientific research and development with real economic potential, such as the development of unique and innovative technologies. Moreover, the Agency’s philosophy is that involvement in the space sector contributes to Israel’s economy, strengthens its international standing and and benefits its residents in areas such as agriculture, communications, detection of environmental contaminants and research.
The Israel Space Agency’s goals are many and diverse, including expanding the cooperation and reciprocal relationships with various countries in the field of space, promoting infrastructure research studies in the academia and at research institutes, leading the world trend of miniaturizing satellites, supporting the development of unique innovative space technologies at the aerospace industries, cultivating a reserve of future space scientists by promoting space education and projects in the community, and generally expanding Israel’s relative advantage in the field and positioning it as one of the world’s leading countries in the study and use of space technology.
Another goal of the Space Agency is to strengthen the connection of children and youth to the space sector, to satisfy their great natural curiosity with regard to this field and to expand their knowledge and interest in space. The Space Agency organizes activities and events for the public at large that offer interactive experience in the space fields. Each year, there are celestial observation of distant worlds, which are a source of inspiration. The Space Agency organizes national contests for students, supports technological projects such as the launch of the Duchifat 1 miniature satellite, etc. The Agency organizes conferences and seminars for educators and develops training programs for teachers and instructors in cooperation with the Education Ministry and the Israel Astronomy Society.
Israel’s Space Industry
Israel has a long standing successful space heritage, including technological development, applications and durable and competitive products of the space industry. The Space Program was established in the 1980s, at which time, Israel was the eighth country in the world to succeed in launching and positioning satellites in space. Its main goal was and still remains to establish a comprehensive infrastructure for space study. Israel has been forced to deal with security challenges and a shortage of resources; and consequently, it has focused on miniaturizing the technology and developing small, light satellites with high resolution, remote sensing and communication capabilities. Israel is currently considered a world leader in this industry: a small country with a large relative technological advantage in the field. Israel’s space industry is primarily engaged in the development, production and operation of satellites, the sale of communication services and remote sensing.
Israel specializes in the development of technologies for miniature satellites and methods for launching them. Based on this technological expertise, a number of Israeli groups are currently developing microsatellites and nano-satellites in order to demonstrate how various technologies and applications work, in order to examine and authenticate them.
Israel’s space industry focuses on high resolution photographic satellites that are positioned in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and communication satellites positioned in the Geocentric Orbit (GEO). Despite a relatively modest budget, the achievements of Israel’s Space Program since 1988 are the most impressive of Israel’s advanced technology industry’s achievements. In terms of cost-effectiveness and high performance in relation to low weight, Israel’s imaging satellites are considered the leaders in the global arena. Among Israel’s satellites in space is the Amos - a series of five communication satellites, Ofek - ten satellites for intelligence gathering, Eros - two photography satellites and the Techsat 2 research satellite.