Amos 4 satellite.
(photo credit: Israel Aerospace Industries)
Israeli communications company Spacecom successfully launched a state-of-the-art
satellite into space on Saturday night from the Zenit launching pad in Baikonur,
Kazakhstan, it was announced on Sunday.
Amos 4, which was built by Israel
Aerospace Industries, was dispatched at 11:05 p.m. Saturday, and the launch
concluded in the early hours on Sunday when the satellite disconnected from the
final part of its launcher.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu praised the
launch at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday morning.
“I would like to
take this opportunity to congratulate Israel Aerospace Industries and the
Spacecom Satellite Communications Ltd. for the successful launch of the Amos 4
satellite,” Netanyahu said. “There are very few countries in the world that can
congratulate themselves on such an achievement.”
Amos 4 is expected to
take two weeks to reach its designated orbital position 67.25°E at an altitude
of 36,000 kilometers.
The satellite is to remain at that orbital position
for several months and in orbit tests are to be performed on its
Following these tests the satellite is expected to move to
orbital position 65°E where it would provide a full range of satellite services
for Russia, the Middle East and additional service areas.
will provide services such as direct-to-home video distribution, VSAT
communications and broadband Internet, according to Spacecom’s
Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, who watched the
launch from a secure location in Israel, expressed pride at the launch and
stressed that space and cyber technologies are “critical issues for the security
“The Israeli space agency is expanding its activity
substantially, and the launching of this satellite is another landmark in the
course the State of Israel has set out on – entering the top five leading
countries in the field,” he said. “This is a true Israeli pride that proves to
us, once more, that for Israeli technology – the sky is no longer the
Amos 4 is Spacecom’s fifth satellite sent to space. Amos 6 is
scheduled for a 2014 launch.