Space: July 16, 2001

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Israel's new spy satellite, EROS-A1, has finally reached its intended operating orbit (six months after it was launched by Russia). The orbit is sun-synchronous, designed to always have the same lighting conditions over the area being photographed. It will pass over any given spot every fourth day. EROS-A1 is an improved version of the Ofeq-3 spy satellite launched earlier. EROS-A1 has a resolution of 1 meter; the next generation of Israeli satellites will reach 0.82 meter from a 600 kilometer orbit. The Eros-B1 and EROS-B2 satellites, to be launched in 2003 and 2004, will have a resolution of 0.5 meters (or 500 millimeter, current U.S. recon satellites can detect objects as small as 50 millimeters.) --Stephen V Cole

 


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