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Israel Launches Ofek-7 Spy Satellite

By | June 12, 2007

      Israel launched an advanced spy satellite into orbit on June 11, Israeli officials said, representing a new intelligence-gathering tool for efforts to collect information on Iran and other regional adversaries.

      Israeli officials said the Ofek-7 satellite can detect even small objects from space, and that such information will be shared with the United States government.

      Israel expected to receive the first images from the satellite within 48 to 72 hours. Ofek-7 is expected to circle the earth every 90 minutes, remaining in orbit between a minimum of four years and a maximum of six. It is equipped with various advanced components, such as a GPS system, a central computer, a gas tank, and a telescope.

      The launch of Ofek-7 followed its failed predecessor, Ofek-6, which fell to sea after liftoff in October 2004.

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