Israel to launch new satellite to watch Iran

Sunday, July 22, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

Israel has scheduled a September launch for its new TecStar spy satellite, which is being put into orbit primarily to keep on eye on Iran's nuclear installations.

Weighing in at under 660 pounds, and sporting next generation Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capabilities, TecStar will be one of the most advanced and streamlined satellites ever launched, reported The Jerusalem Post.

The SAR system was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which also built TecStar, and is capable of creating high-resolution images even in cloudy weather conditions.

The launch of TecStar will “place Israel as one of the leading countries in the world in satellite development,” and IAI official told the Post.

TecStar will be taken into orbit atop an Indian rocket launched from the Indian space center at Sriharikota. While Israel has successfully put several satellites into orbit, it decided three years ago to contract the Indians to launch TecStar as part of burgeoning military ties with the Hindu nation.

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