Israel on Wednesday evening launched a new spy satellite into orbit from an air force base in the center of the country. The spacecraft, the “Ofek-10,” will reportedly orbit the Earth every 99 minutes from an altitude of 600 kilometers (373 miles).
The launch, from the Palmachim IAF base near Rishon Lezion, was visible throughout much of Israel’s center. According an Israel Radio report, much of air and sea traffic in the area was temporarily halted in order to facilitate the launch.
The Ofek-10 has advance surveillance capabilities and will join several other Israeli satellites in orbit. According to media reports, the Ofek-10 has improved photographic capabilities, is able to distinguish between objects a half a meter in size, and can take pictures under various lighting and weather conditions.