Sunday, September 1, 2013

Israeli Satellite Launches from Baikonur

Zenit-3SLB rocket launch with Amos-4 satellite. Credit: orbiter-forum.com

Russia has orbited an Israeli communications satellite, the Federal Space Agency reported Sunday. The comsat was launched with the help of a Zenit-2SB carrier rocket at 00:05 Moscow Time Sunday (20:05 GMT Saturday) from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The Amos-4 satellite (Afro-Mediterranean Orbital System), manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), separated from the DM-SLB upper stage at 06:50 Moscow Time (02:50 GMT).

It will provide DTH, VSAT and broadband Internet services to consumers in Russia, the Middle East, Southeast and Central Asia.

IAI CEO Joseph Weiss said, "The Amos 4 is at the forefront of technology, on a level with the world's leading satellite communications. This is an impressive achievement for IAI, which is the leader and chief contractor for all of Israel's satellite programs. The development and manufacture of the satellite by IAI's skilled and dedicated employees is an exceptional achievement for us in aerospace."

Minister of Science and Technology Yaakov Perry, who watched the launch of the Amos 4 from a secure facility in central Israel together with Israeli aerospace industry officials, said, "In the digital and satellite eras, aerospace and cyber are critical issues for Israel's security. This is a source of true pride for Israel. It once again demonstrates that for Israeli technology, the skies are no longer the limit."

Perry added, "The Israel Space Agency is greatly expanding its activity, and the launch of the satellite is another milestone on the path that Israel has embarked on - joining the five leading countries in aerospace."

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