Israel’s newest spy satellite sends back its first pictures

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israel's Ofek-13 reconnaissance satellite takes off from central Israel on March 29, 2023. (Defense Ministry)
Israel's Ofek-13 reconnaissance satellite takes off from central Israel on March 29, 2023. (Defense Ministry)

Israel’s newest spy satellite has begun beaming back its first pictures, nearly two weeks after it was launched into orbit, the Defense Ministry says.

“About two weeks after the satellite’s successful launch into space, engineering teams… activated the Ofek 13 satellite’s synthetic-aperture radar for the first time last night,” the ministry says.

“The first satellite images received at the IAI control station were of excellent quality,” it adds.

The ministry does not release copies of these initial photographs to the public.

The Ofek 13 satellite was launched on March 28 in a joint operation by the Defense Ministry’s Space Department and the Israel Aerospace Industries. According to the ministry, since the launch teams from both organizations have been performing checks on the satellite to ensure it is operating correctly.

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