Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

Israel in space




Israel's space interests are managed by the Israeli Space Agency (ISA), which is based in Tel Aviv and was established in 1983 as part of the Israel Defense Forces. ISA pursues space programs jointly with the Interdisciplinary Center for Technological Analysis and Forecasting of Tel Aviv University, the National Committee for Space Research of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI). IAI produces the Shavit launch vehicle which was used to place Israel's first satellite, Ofeq-1 in low Earth orbit on September 19, 1988. Several other Ofeq launches from the Palmachim military base – not all successful – have taken place since, the most recent in 1998. Israel also takes part in international space missions and there are plans for an Israeli astronaut to fly aboard the Space Shuttle.