Israel’s Space Agency has long focused on military and spy communications. The satellites launched into space have been for the defense industry, leaving Israel on the outside looking in at the $250 billion commercial space market.
It’s easy to forget about reports from 2015 stating that Israel was on a five-year mission to capture 3% of the commercial space market. Israel’s Space Agency already has infrastructure for defense needs, and the plan in 2015 was to use this technology so that large investments weren’t required to capture some of the commercial space market share.
Israel has made strides in its own space race, but unless you were paying attention, you probably missed it.
I can remember using telescopes to stare up at the sky as a little kid. Now, I spend a lot of my time reading up on the latest advancements in space technology.
Israel introduced the world’s first nano satellites, which are flown in formation and are the first autonomous spacecraft. The satellites were developed at Haifa’s Technion Israel Institute of Technology.
The project was supported by the Israeli Space Agency and will launch at the end of the year. Scientists are launching the satellites to showcase how a group of satellites can stay 600 kilometers above earth and stay together in a close formation.
Israeli’s startup innovation is slowly making its way into the space industry.
Nano satellites will be used for environmental monitoring, detection, rescue and remote sensing. What’s neat is that the satellites are around the same size as a shoebox and weigh a mere 8 kilograms.
Nano satellites are small, compact and offer more capabilities compared to large satellites. Typical satellites are bulky, expensive and difficult to launch. Networks of nano satellites are cost-effective and can include thousands of nano satellites al using distributed space systems to communicate.
Israel hopes that in the future, the satellites will be able to offer high-speed Internet connection at a lower cost.
The possibilities for Israel to compete in the commercial space market are extensive if these initial tests prove fruitful. The country could offer high-speed Internet to the world, or remote areas that have no Internet connection have the possibility of a low-cost, functional Internet all powered by small, nano satellites. The advancement will push Israel into the center of the commercial space industry.
Isreal’s nano satellites also increase the local economy because they’re locally produced.
Solar panel systems will allow the satellites to gather their own energy and use autonomous systems. Israel also had to develop its own information processing systems that will support autonomous operation across several nano satellites. The possibilities expand from Israel offering nano satellites to licensing the world’s first software to support autonomous functionality across satellites.
Israel has made strides since 2015 when the Space Agency announced their plans to enter the commercial space industry. Nano satellites and a strong startup culture put Israel in a good position to capture well beyond 3% of the commercial space market. The country’s five-year goal may well be on its way