The Israel Space Agency, founded following a government decision in 1983, is a national agency operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology. The Agency is responsible for initiating, leading and coordinating all activities of the civilian space program.
The Agency especially supports scientific research and development with real, economic potential such as the development of unique and innovative technologies. In addition, the Agency operates on the premise that all space related activities contribute to the Israeli economy, to the country’s international standing and also benefit its citizens in terms of agriculture, communications, monitoring of environmental pollution and research.
The Israel Space Agency’s goals are many and diverse. They include expanding cooperation and reciprocal relationships with various countries in the field of space, promoting infrastructure research studies in the academic sector and research institutes, investing in start-ups developing components for the Israeli and international space industry, the development and construction of satellites for civilian purposes and supporting the development of unique and innovative space technologies. The Agency also cultivates a cadre of future scientists, through space education and community projects, who will work in the field of space research in the future. In general, the Agency seeks to increase Israel’s relative lead in this field and position the country amongst the leading nations involved in space research and its exploitation.
Another goal of the Space Agency is to strengthen the connection of children and youth to the field of space, in order to satisfy their great natural curiosity in this area and also to expand their knowledge and interest in space. For the general public, the Space Agency organizes activities and events that offer interactive experience in space related subjects and also, throughout the year, organizes a range of activities including star gazing and astronomical activities, national competitions, technological initiatives in schools, training courses for instructors and more.
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, Eros - two photography satellites and the Techsat 2 research satellite.