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November 12, 2012 6:15 pm

Cabinet Minister Highlights Israel’s Pioneering Space Efforts

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Ilan Ramon. Photo: wiki commons.

Drawing on Israeli technological and scientific prowess, Israel’s top science minister highlighted Israel’s ambitious space efforts including a project by an Israeli company to be the third country to land on the moon, the Jerusalem Post reported.

At a cabinet meeting on Nov. 11, Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz brief ministers on Israel’s latest space efforts.  Hershkowitz highlighted how Israel is among the top five global leaders in developing satellite research systems.

“Israel is among the most successful in growth of sales for the space industry, improvement and broadening of space knowledge and infrastructure, and strengthening the link between its space research and society in general,” Hershkowitz said.

According to Hershkowitz, Israel has launched 13 satellites that have collectively accumulated 66 orbiting years and achieved 100 percent orbit mission successes

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Hershkowitz also described how Israel has several partnerships with other nations in these areas, including satellites that focus on agricultural and environmental monitoring as well as pinpointing areas for rescuers in remote areas or disaster zones. Israel is also partnering with NASA in an interplanetary satellite mission.

In addition to Israel’s satellite projects, Hershkowitz also promoted the SPACEIL program, an initiative by an Israeli non-profit company to win Google’s $20 million Lunar X Prize by successfully landing a robot on the surface of the moon and sending images back by the end of 2015.

Israel is scheduled to host the 2015 International Astronautic Conference in Jerusalem.

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