(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The Space Administration in the Defense Ministry’s MAFAT (Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure) has signed a cooperation agreement with the US military on Monday to monitor and prevent collisions in space.
The agreement stated that man-made and other objects in space will be followed to ensure ongoing activity in space and prevent unwanted collisions. It places Israel in a list of countries that are active in space and regard themselves as responsible for ensuring safety, the signatories said. Israel is known for its compact satellites.
Other countries who have such agreements are Britain, South Korea, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, Australia and Germany, as well as the European Space Agency.
The agreement, said the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, will improve the know-how in each of the signatory countries on movement in space and raise the security level of vital satellites that function daily in communications, weather and navigation.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of satellites dispatched each year, and the number of government and private owners has also increased, the ministry said. As a result, vast space has become relatively “crowded,” so the objects must be monitored in an ongoing and efficient way to prevent accidents.
Satellite owners have to supply exact warnings in time.
This information is vital when satellites are launched, participate in exercises, suffer from electromagnetic interference and other events.
MAFAT director Brig.-Gen. (res.) Amnon Harari said that “this agreement puts Israel at the forefront along with other countries that see themselves as partners concerned about the stability of the world and global security, and it will contribute to Israel’s national security.”
US Navy Adm. Cecil Haney, who heads the United States Strategic Command, added that the US is determined to improve the situation in space and cooperation and giving services to states, organizations and companies that use space satellites.
“After all, we all have a joint interest to act responsibility, boost transparency and create stable and lasting safety in space over time,” he said.