Israel will fortify its presence in space next week when Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) launches the Amos 3 communications satellite from Kazakhstan. The satellite, which will join the Amos 1 and 2 in space, will provide high-quality broadcasting and communications services to Europe, the Middle East and the east coast of the United States. The satellite was built by IAI's MBT Space Division and is being launched to replace the Amos 1, which was initially intended to last 11 years in space but has already been orbiting earth for 12 years. The satellite has a predicted lifespan of 18 years and will carry a 250 kg payload in comparison to 160 kg for other Amos satellites. The launch is scheduled for April 24 from the Baikonur missile launch site in Kazakhstan. In January, Israel launched the TECSAR satellite, the first of its kind developed in Israel, and one of the world's most advanced space systems. The TecSar is capable of creating high-resolution images using advanced radar technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). In addition to the TecSar and the Amos 1 and 2, Israel operates the Ofek 7, Eros B and Ofek 5 spy satellites. Several months ago, IAI unveiled its third-generation, low-weight, optical observation satellite, called OptSat 3000, which is meant to replace the Ofek series. OptSat 3000 represents a breakthrough in terms of weight, autonomy and the ability to take a large number of images in each satellite pass. OptSat 3000 is based on a new generic small platform which can accommodate various types of payloads and contains Panchromatic & Multi-Spectral (MS) imaging cameras, which are capable of simultaneous operation and the creation of higher-resolution pan-sharpened images.