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Monday, 21 January 2008 22:21

India launches Israeli spy satellite: With Iran in its sights

An advanced spy satellite built by Israel called TecSAR was launched by India on January 21, 2008. One of its purposes is to track Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons program.        

The TecSAR satellite was launched from the southeastern Indian launch site of Satish Dhawan Space Center (SDSC) at 345 GMT on January 21, 2008, with an Indian polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).

The SDSC is located in Sriharikota in Andrhra Pradesh, India. The launch site, operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), is located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Chennai.

Also known as TechSAR and Polaris, the 660-pound (300-kilogram) TecSAR is an Israeli reconnaissance satellite that contains the advanced radar technology called synthetic aperture radar (SAR). SAR, a form of radar, is capable of producing precise images within TecSAR with a resolution of about 3.9 inches (up to ten centimeters).

TecSAR was designed and built by the Space Division MBT of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) as a way to image immobile targets (like nuclear power plants) while operating in a remote and mobile environment (such as in orbit about Earth). SAR technology has been applied mostly in areas of remote sensing and mapping.

The launch of TecSAR was the first launch by joint cooperation of the governments of Israel and India: an Israeli satellite on an Indian mission. Both countries, along with the United States and other countries, are especially concerned with the assumed advancements in the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

The government of Iran contends it only has a peaceful nuclear power generation program.

However, many countries think the Iranian nuclear program is a pubic cover for its intended nuclear weapons program. Two more launches are planned by the Israeli/Indian team.

The highly advanced TecSAR satellite, along with other such Israeli satellites such as Ofek 5, Ofek 7, Amos series of satellites, and EROS (Earth Resources Observation Satellite) series of satellites, will be able to effectively monitor the advancements going on in Iran and other such countries seen as possibly hostile to world peace and probably detrimental to the safety of democratic countries around the world.

[Author's note: The reader is right. The correction has been made.]

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