Waves space research Sharon

  • Issue: December 1996
  • Designer: G. Sagi
  • Stamp size: 40 x 25.7 mm
  • Plate no.: 298
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Offset

September 19, 1988 marked Israel's entry to the exclusive club of seven nations which have successfully built and launched their own satellite. Ofek-1 (the Hebrew for "Horizon") was lifted into the earth's orbit by a Shavit three-stage launch vehicle, both products of Israel's advanced commercial R&D space program.

Space research in Israel has academic roots dating back to the 1960's, although it was only in 1983 that the "Israel Space Agency" (ISA) was established. The ISA today operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Science.

Israel is fast becoming a major player in the commercial space arena and is implementing a varied program, including both indigenous projects and international cooperation. A year after Ofek-1, Israel successfully launched another satellite, Ofek-2, and in April 1995 took another leap forward with the launch of Ofek-3, which carried an advanced electro-optical payload. A month later, in May of 1995, Israel's Amos satellite was successfully launched by a French launch vehicle.

Israel's prestigious research and teaching institute, the "Technion", developed and built a micro-satellite, TechSAT, loaded with the most advanced systems and weighing only 50kg. TechSATis typical of the direction Israel's space program is going: state-of-the-art micro-systems packed into compact light-weight space vehicles. Research in these areas takes place in most of Israel's institutes of higher learning, and is supported by the Ministry of Science. Another project is TAUVEX (Tel-Aviv University Ultra Violet Explorer), a cluster of three ultraviolet telescopes ISA is funding and which will be launched in 1997 by Russia as part of a space-observatory carrying advanced instruments from a number of other countries.

Other areas of research where Israel's scientific community is making its presence felt include researching the solar-system and earth studies, with special emphasis on desertification, agriculture and the efficient use of water resources.

In the international civilian and commercial space arena, Israel is already recognized as an equal and sought-after partner.

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Philately day - space research in Israel