Thursday, April 10, 2014
Israel Launches Ofek-10
Launch image: Israel Channel 2
10 April 2014: Last night Israel launched is next-generation and most advanced military intelligence collections satellite from the Palmachim Air Base launch facility in central Israel. The Ofek10 (also: Ofeq 10 meaning Horizon 10) will allow Israel's national military authorities to see pretty much whatever they want to see whenever they want to see it in every weather condition on every 99-minute overhead orbital pass.
A 2010 rendering of Ofeq-10 by AviationWeek
Given the continuous back-stabbing Israel has taken from the Obama Administration's position on Iran's nuclear weapons program, the launch of Ofeq 10 last night is no great surprise. It is what a sovereign nation does when near-real time intelligence, target surveillance, or battle-damage assessments are deemed to be essential.
The Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and 1-cubit resolution imaging device (19.5-inch/.5 meter/50cm) are part of the onboard intelligence collection suite codename Jupiter. Jupiter will also provide 15km/9mile wide panoramic views of Iranian territory at a resolution of 78 inches from its orbital altitude of 600km/372 miles. Congratulations to Israel on a successful launch and orbital insertion!