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The wonderful story of the Amos 1 satellite - from its birth to its sale to Intelsat after 12 years of successful service

A summary of the words of Amitsur Rosenfeld, CEO of Microsat Israel and formerly the project manager in the aerospace industry at a conference in Tel Aviv that dealt with the question of space in Israel: a crisis or an opportunity * Many speakers at the conference accepted the halting of the Israeli space program and called on the government to act before the achievements of 25 years go down the drain

The satellite is loaded 1 during its construction in the facilities of the air industry. From Wikipedia
The satellite is loaded 1 during its construction in the facilities of the air industry. From Wikipedia

The Amos 1 communication satellite, which everyone already thought was headed for the graveyard of communication satellites, has gained a new life. This is how the person responsible for its development from the idea stage to the establishment of the Space Communications company, Amitsur Rosenfeld, who headed the Amos 1 project, reveals at a conference entitled "Space in Israel: Crisis or Opportunity". The conference was held as part of the Tel Aviv workshop for science, technology and security by Prof. Yuval Naaman.

According to him, the satellite was sold as a second-hand satellite to the Intelsat company, which moves it to the East. In about three months he will be stationed at another location where he will provide service to Intelsat customers in East Asia.

The satellite was launched on July 1, 1996 from the French space base in Coro in French Guiana in South America and began providing service on July 1 of the same year. On July 1, 2008, exactly 12 years after the start of its operation, the last of the channels transmitted through it (among others to subscribers of the Yes Company) were transferred, in favor of the Amos 2 and Amos 3 satellites, and the explanation was that it would end its life in the orbit known as the "cemetery of the communication satellites" after its operators They will launch it with the rest of its fuel outside the fixed orbit of the communication satellites, at an altitude of about 36 thousand km where they rotate together with the rotation of the earth and therefore appear to hang over one place, to make room for other satellites in this precious strip.

Rosenfeld, currently the CEO of Microsat-Israel, described in his lecture that the satellite, in which the aerospace industry invested 200 million dollars without knowing whether it would be able to fulfill its requirements, was designed to operate for ten years, but served for two more years, and now has five more years of service activity expected.

In his lecture, Rosenfeld described the history of the satellite from the concept stage to its transfer from the hands of the aviation industry to a new subsidiary company established for the purpose of marketing its satellites - Space Communications. "I had to woo customers. The Director General of the Broadcasting Authority at the time, Motti Kirschenbaum, said to me, "How do you want me to plan something three years ahead, when the planning horizon of the Director General of the Broadcasting Authority is only three weeks."

Rosenfeld complimented Major General Meir Amit, who passed away about a year ago, that the success of the project was attributed to his charisma, when he ran from minister to minister and made sure the project continued.

The workshop was attended by all the senior officials of the Israeli space industry and researchers from the academy. Many of the speakers warned of a crisis in the Israeli space industry, the tremendous momentum it had only 4-5 years ago has stopped, and now there are only two satellites under construction - the Venus observation satellite shared by Israel and France and the Amos 4 communication satellite built for the Space Communications Company. This is compared to nine satellites that were in various stages of construction five years ago.

Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel from Tel Aviv University warned that Iran also joined the space club this year and that due to the need for security, Israel has accumulated assets in space, and in particular has learned to minimize the satellites due to the constraint of launching to the west, where the launchers have to face flight against the direction of rotation of Earth. Today, the space agencies of other space powers are interested in this knowledge and wish to cooperate with Israel in building tiny satellites to reveal the knowledge. Among other things, there is also talk of an American satellite which is currently in the competition stages and which will orbit the planet Venus, but will be built entirely in Israel based on the radar technology developed for the TECSAR satellite.

The Chief Scientist at the Ministry of Defense Dr. Eli Ofer also said that Israel is today at the top of the space business without any proportion to its size. "If in the next few years a civilian, business and technological infrastructure in the field of space is not built, we will fall behind."

Senior officials in the aviation industry and Aluf also warned that if no options are found to continue to retain the workers, whose experience is irreplaceable, Israel will lose all the experience it has gained and the 25 years in which it was a space power will be a passing episode.

2 תגובות

  1. On the other hand, a harmful, dangerous, unnecessary and wasteful project such as the biometric database from above, only because the person responsible for it - MK Meir Shetrit - has the necessary political elbows to promote it, and it's a shame. The budgets that Shetrit earmarks for this unnecessary and dangerous database should be earmarked for the space industry, and thus We will kill two birds with one arrow.

  2. The problem is that the Israeli space industry has no elbows. Prof. Yitzhak Ben-Israel is an excellent example. He failed to be re-elected to a realistic place in the Kadima movement, because he lacked the political elbows to push himself and get high on the list. He is currently at the head of the Israeli space industry. He is an excellent and brilliant scientist but a "bad" politician. I put this in quotation marks because the problem is not in him, but in our political system, which sanctifies the elbow people and pushes out quality people, only due to their modesty and inability to "market" themselves aggressively as required in the current era in which we live.

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