Israel signs satellite research accord with NASA

US most interested in light satellite technology.

311_Ofek 9 (photo credit: Israel Aerospace Industries)
311_Ofek 9
(photo credit: Israel Aerospace Industries)
The Israel Space Agency and the US Aeronautics and Space Administration signed a memorandum of understanding in Washington last week to promote cooperation.
Israel is a leader in the field and can contribute much to NASA, said Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz, who was accompanied to the meetings by ISA director Dr. Zvi Kaplan. The minister termed the visit with NASA head Charles Bolden as “very successful.”
Bolden was last in Israel in January, to attend the fifth Ilan Ramon Space Conference. The two agencies plan to work together in new fields connected to earth and space sciences, life sciences and additional fields in which there is joint interest, the ministry said. The main intention is to expand the exchange of information and provide inspiration for the next generation of researchers, scientists and engineers.
The NASA chief welcomed strategic cooperation with Israel, which is one of the main countries that cooperate with NASA. “We will consider the expansion of cooperation in additional applied subjects in space research and the development of integration technologies,” Bolden said.
The Americans are most interested in the technology for producing lightweight satellites that can be launched from planes, as well as hyperspectral sensors and satellite antennas for analyzing photographs via radar. These are needed for the mapping of Venus, which NASA will do in the future, and “Israeli teams will participate,” Bolden said.
The minister and Kaplan also met with Dr. Ralph Cicerone, head of the American Academy of Sciences, and Dr. Cora Marrett, director of the US National Science Foundation, to discuss the expansion of cooperation between Israel and the US on the federal level.