Constellations, Launch, New Space and more…

Israel Focuses on Carving Niche in Microsats, Closer Cooperation with NASA

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
September 26, 2010
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‘Smaller is better’ as Israel launches itself as space contender
Jewish Herald Voice

The Netanyahu administration reportedly is placing a major thrust on space research and development. The aim is to boost sales of Israel’s miniaturized space platforms to nearly $8 billion a year over the next several years, according to Israeli media reports, and to secure a small but significant percentage of the $250-billion-a-year international space market….

NASA reportedly is interested in purchasing the TecSar payload. The TecSar has been used to capture high-resolution images with a radar camera that can see in all weather conditions.

The American space agency also reportedly is interested in Israeli instrumentation, such as hyper-spectral sensors and satellite antennas for analyzing images via radar, that could be used to map Venus.

Last month, Kaplan visited NASA headquarters in Washington and met with the American space agency’s administrator, Charles Bolden. The two leaders signed a joint statement of intent to expand current U.S.-Israel space activities and to explore new joint ventures relating to earth and space science, life science and space exploration.

At the meeting, Bolden described Israel as one of NASA’s strongest space partners. The Jewish state is part of the NASA Lunar Science Institute.

The memorandum of understanding was the product of talks that began last January, when Bolden traveled to Israel to participate in the fifth annual Ilan Ramon Conference on Space. The conference is named in memory of Israel’s first astronaut who was part of the ill-fated 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle mission STS-107.

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In space the costs are high, the rewards higher

For Star Trek fans, space is the final frontier. In Israel it’s the next frontier – to be more specific the next high tech business frontier. It’s no surprise really. Israel already has a lucrative $5 billion a year defense industry, combined with highly developed communications and IT industries. These make a solid base for the leap into space.

Money is also now forthcoming. The Israeli government has promised an $80 million injection of cash every year for the next five years, in an effort to kick-start a potential $10 billion-a-year business in the world’s $250 billion space industry….

“We want to sell more [than the current $800m.],” Ben Israel tells ISRAEL21c. “We have half a foot in the civilian space applications market. We want a full foot.”

Following his advice, the strategy is not just to encourage the development of Israeli “wow” technologies, but also a network of space industry companies to service satellites. Experience may be culled from Israel’s advanced communications and IT businesses. “We can build on these components and be a major player in the global space market – worth $250 billion,” he estimates.

As part of the country’s new five-year plan, the ISA has tasked Israel’s 25 established defense companies, which include industry leaders such as IAI, Elbit Rafael, to begin targeting the civilian industry.

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