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Israeli investment in the field of civil space is the lowest in the world

This is how the ranking of the countries active in the satellite field emerged in the discussion of the conclusions of the explosion of a loaded satellite 6. The Director General of the Ministry of Communications: "We may be cut off from the world if an underwater cable is damaged." The CEO of the space company: "A tender for an Amos 8 satellite in the coming months. Preference for an Israeli company". The Treasury called on the government ministries to take part in the budgeting

Director General of the Ministry of Science Peretz Wezan (left) presents to Minister of Science Ofir Akunis the conclusions of the committee established following the explosion of Amos 6 on December 18, 2016. Right: Director General of the Israel Space Agency Avi Blasberger. Photo: Avi Blizovsky
Director General of the Ministry of Science Peretz Vezan (left) presents to Minister of Science Ofir Akunis the conclusions of the committee established following the explosion of Amos 6 on December 18, 2016. Right: Director General of the Israel Space Agency Avi Blasberger. Photo: Avi Blizovsky

The sub-committee on the subject of space held a discussion on Monday this week on the conclusions of the space committee that was established following the explosion of the Amos 6 satellite on the launch pad.

The chairman of the subcommittee, MK Yoav Kish, opened the discussion: "The communication satellite industry is in a very difficult crisis following the sequence of recent events in the field of space and the government must provide a special budget to support this industry."

The director general of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space, Peretz Vezan, who chaired the committee, presented its conclusions. According to him, in addition to the crisis left by the loss of the two satellites - Amos 5 and 6, there is a slowdown in the activity of the civil space sector in Israel also due to technological developments in other companies in the world.

"There is no development and production of satellites at the moment, no additional orders in the future and the whole field is currently in danger. There is an injury to the Israeli capability and there is a risk to the continued possession of the production line, despite the enormous importance for the advancement of industry and the economy, the advancement of science and technology, and the improvement of Israel's position as a space power," Vezan noted.

In the discussion, the Ministry of Science presented that the investment per capita for civil space activity in Israel is very low compared to the countries of the world and stands at 2 dollars per capita per year. The USA invests 63 dollars at the top of the list and Kazakhstan is next in the table after Israel, 6 dollars.

MK Haim Yelin attacked the Ministry of Finance for its refusal to budget the space industry: "You are not making a connection between future revenues and company expenses. We cannot prove today the income that will come from this, but there will be some. In any case, it is a Zionist investment to settle in space. Better than budgeting for settlements in the territories."

Professor Yitzhak Ben Israel, Chairman of the Israel Space Agency: "The field of observation satellites was defined by Israel as a national need and its condition is good. The problem is in the field of communication satellites where most of the money comes from the business market and there is a downside to this. If there is a sequence of failures customers run away. In my opinion, the field of communication satellites should be declared a national need".

Shlomo Filber, Director General of the Ministry of Communications: "In the coming years the connection between satellites will become an essential necessity because the world is moving to a state of infinite connectivity and Israel, which is a "communication island" can be cut off from the world if an underwater cable is damaged and therefore requires backup. As every infrastructure in Israel has a backup - a backup is needed in case of a natural disaster or a security situation. You should not put all your eggs in one basket in the field of communication.

Ofer Doron, director of Bat Halal at the Aerospace Industry: "Hallel Communications provides service to a small country and it operates independently without support and has no business justification to continue working. The European Space Agency, for example, also invests huge capital in development and support. Israel and Israeli companies do not have the ability to compete, therefore the State of Israel needs to put in the money to allow this field to survive."

Boaz Levy, VP of Aerospace Industries and Director of the Space and Missile Systems Division: "The incident involving the Amos 6 satellite happened in September and we have been at a standstill ever since. Not only the machines have stopped but also the brains because there is still no talk of the next satellite. If we are talking about a satellite within three years and we need to start working immediately so that we can meet the goals. There is a danger of all the brains that hold knowledge in Israel fleeing"

Treasury representative, Matan Yigal: "The civic need for the issue of communication arises here. There are other government entities that are in charge of this issue and they can budget for it from their office's budget. I think that those bodies can also come and take part in this cost and not pass it on to the Treasury."

David Polak, CEO of the Space Company, told the committee that they are close to issuing a tender for Amos 8 in the coming months and that the company prefers that the winner of the tender be an Israeli company.

The chairman of the committee, MK Yoav Kish, announced that "the committee accepts the cymbals of the space committee headed by the chancellor of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space headed by Mr. Peretz Vezan and sees the field of civil communication satellites as an area of ​​existence. The committee calls on the Israeli government to formulate a decision-making proposal and close the funding in the next two months."

2 תגובות

  1. Why should the state invest in civil space? Most of the SPILLOVER EFFECT (which is the only justified reason for making investments in a civil and competitive field such as satellite production) comes anyway because of the military satellite production. Satellite communication is a COMMODITY that does not need to be owned, and in such a market there is no need to own a backup if it can be rented immediately on the day of the order. In addition, Israel has more than one submarine fiber that connects it to the world and the fibers can be a backup for each other. The communication volumes in satellites today do not constitute a backup for fiber since a satellite provides at best gigs of communication (assuming a KA HTS satellite) and in most cases only hundreds of megabytes ("standard" C/KU satellites) and therefore satellites are used today for PtMP distribution or for OCCASIONAL USE almost full.
    The whole point here is to create more work for the employees of the aerospace industry, which is nice, but the economic price of this pleasure is insane and there is no justification for purchasing satellites made in Israel.

    If Halal is a company "that has no economic justification" why have the Chinese, and the satellite giant SES, made several attempts to purchase the company in recent years? It is true that the price that Shaul is asking is excessive, but the company still has economic feasibility regardless of the budgeting of the aviation industry - and if the government budgets for the aviation industry and the Mbat plant, the result will be that the (private) Space Communications will purchase an Israeli satellite at the same price as an international satellite from BOEING, SSL or a manufacturer Other.

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