Space: February 1, 2000


Israel is planning to rely on small spy satellites to be launched on reliable small boosters. The Ofeq-3 satellite weighed 225kg (495 pounds), but the next one (Ofeq-4) is to weigh less. The three-stage Shavit boosters are limited in their payload since they must be launched toward the west (sending them east would terrify Arab neighbors, who might try to shoot down the booster). Israeli spy satellites are placed into 90-minute orbits inclined at 37 degrees.--Stephen V Cole


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