Israel Challenges Iran By Launching Reconnaissance Satellite Into Space

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

Israel announced on Monday that it had successfully launched a reconnaissance satellite into space in its first experiment in this field. The announcement came from the spokesperson of the Israeli army, Avichay Adraee, who tweeted:

“The Ministry of Defense confirmed that the space administration at the Research and Development Directorate and the Space Industries Authority succeeded by launching the Horizon 16 reconnaissance satellite into space, at four in the morning Jerusalem time.”

July 6th Shavit rocket launched while carrying the Ofek 16 reconnaissance satellite. Image source: Israeli Ministry of Defense

Adraee continued: “I am talking about an electric optical survey satellite that is equipped with advanced technical capabilities, and it will be subjected in the near future to a series of tests to determine its suitability and performance level.”

This move by Israel comes just a few months after Iran successfully launched its first satellite into orbit.

In a signal to Israel's regional enemies, the Israeli Army spokesman issued messages hailing the launch in Arabic and other regional languages:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to hint at this while hailing the successful launch. He said the launch “very much increases our ability to act against Israel’s enemies, near and far alike. It greatly expands our ability to act on land, at sea, in the air and also in space.”

And an Israeli Air Force space program official said of the launch:

“Our network of satellites lets us watch the entire Middle East — and even a bit more than that.” 

Successful April 22 launch by Iran, via Reuters.

The Iranian launch, which was condemned by the United States and its allies, marked the first time that the Islamic Republic was able to successfully send a satellite into orbit.