Joint Israel-France environmental research satellite ready for launch


The Venµs, a vegetation & environment monitoring micro-satellite is scheduled to be launched into space from French Guinea in August.
• It’s a collaboration between Israel’s Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and France’s space agency.

By Ilan Gattegno and Dan Lavie


The construction of Venus, Israel’s first environmental research satellite, has been completed, and it is set to be launched into space this summer.

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis introduces the Venus – Facebook/Yakov Saar

Venus, a vegetation and environment monitoring micro-satellite, was assembled by the Israel Aerospace Industries in collaboration with CNES, France’s space agency. Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems produced the satellite’s innovative electric propulsion system, and defense electronics contractor Elbit Systems provided advanced high-resolution cameras that will enable the satellite to better monitor the earth’s vegetation and any changes on the ground.

Venus weighs 265 kilograms (585 pounds) and can reach an altitude of 720 kilometers (447 miles) within two days.

The IAI hosted the satellite’s official handover ceremony on Thursday, where Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis entrusted Venus to CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall.

The satellite is scheduled to be launched into space from Kourou, French Guinea, in August. Its mission is expected to run for four years and three months.


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