Israel launches Amos 3 from Kazakhstan

Successful launch comes after takeoff postponed by a week due to failure in its launching system.

amos 3 satellite (photo credit: IAI)
amos 3 satellite
(photo credit: IAI)
Israel successfully launched the Amos 3 communications satellite from Kazakhstan on Monday morning, days after the launch was cancelled due a technical malfunction in the launching system. The satellite, which joins 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 Israel Aerospace Industries's MBT Space Division and is to replace the Amos 1, which was initially intended to operate for 11 years but has already been orbiting the Earth for 12. The $170 million Amos 3 satellite is to remain in space 18 years. According to the satellite's operator, Spacecom, the Amos 3 lifted off Monday from Russia's main space facility, the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. By Monday evening, the satellite was slated to enter orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers. The new satellite is capable of carrying a 250-kg. payload, compared to 160 kg. for the other Amos satellites. In addition to the TecSar and the Amos 1 and 2, Israel operates the Ofek 7, Eros B and Ofek 5 spy satellites.