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May 28, 2017 10:41 pm

French-Israeli Environmental Research Satellite Set for Launch This Summer

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Venus, a French-Israeli environmental research satellite. Photo YouTube.

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

A vegetation and environment monitoring micro-satellite, Venus was assembled by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in collaboration with CNES, France’s space agency. Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems produced the satellite’s innovative electric propulsion system, and 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 585 pounds and can reach an altitude of nearly 450 miles within two days. IAI hosted the satellite’s official handover ceremony Thursday, when Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis entrusted Venus to CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall.

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

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