03 Aug Arianespace Deploys two IAI Built Satellites into Space
TEL AVIV, Israel — Two Israeli-built imaging satellites — one a spy satellite for the Italian Defence Ministry and the other a scientific satellite for the French and Israeli space agencies — are now orbiting Earth in space after their successful twin launch from an Arianespace Vega rocket.
The 368-kilogram OPSAT-3000 for the Italian military was the first to be deployed, some 37 minutes after launch from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana. About an hour later in flight, the 264-kilogram Venus vegetation- and environmental-monitoring satellite reached orbit.
Both satellites were built by Israel Aerospace Industries. They were launched shortly after 11 p.m. French Guiana time on Aug. 1 during a flight sequence that lasted 1 hour and 37 minutes, Arianespace reported in an early morning notification on Aug. 2.
The IAI-built OPSAT-3000 — known by many in Italy as Leonardo — is expected to support the Italian Defence Ministry for a minimum of six years. The Venus satellite, built by IAI under a cooperative program of the CNES French and Israeli space agencies, is expected to perform scientific tasks for a minimum of three and a half years.
Israel Aerospace Industries CEO Joseph Weiss said the successful deployment of two Israeli-built satellites marked a significant milestone for IAI and the entire Israeli space industry. “We’re talking about an event that is very exciting for the Israeli industry in particular and the state of Israel in general. Together with our Italian, French and Israeli partners, we are proud to see these two flagship projects on their way to years of fruitful operations,” Weiss said.