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Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd.

Israel and France Signed Agreement for Development and Launch of Scientific Micro-Satellite

Apr 14, 2005

An Israeli mission headed by the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and representatives of the Israeli aeronautics industries, headed by Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), has signed an agreement for the development and launch of a new commercial scientific micro-satellite, dubbed "Venus". The project will be financed by both Israel and France. The satellite will use a multi-spectral camera and will be used to monitor ground features, mainly vegetation condition and water quality. France and Israel plan to launch Venus into space by 2008.

The Government of Israel (through the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment) in cooperation with IAI and other Israeli industries will jointly finance the Israeli share of the Venus program.

Venus is a research mission geared toward demonstrating the efficiency of optimized multi-spectral observation in the framework of the European Global Monitoring for Environment programme (GMES programme). It will cover, every other day, 50 representative sites of the world?s main terrestrial and coastal ecosystems in 12 spectral bands in the visible and near-infrared regions.

Venus's secondary mission is prior to deploying future operational space-based infrastructures to:

- Enable significant advances in understanding and modeling of continental land surfaces, by combining space-based and in-situ observations with vegetation and soil models;
- Promote research procedures of monitoring water quality in the coastal plan and inland water bodies.
- Help to improve how terrestrial surfaces are represented in meteorology, climate, and carbon models;
- Demonstrate the value of this kind of observation for sustainable land management, decision support, and environmental monitoring.

Israel will be responsible for the spacecraft bus (including the hybrid propulsion system and payloads integration), the delivery of technological data, the control centre, and the mirror data processing centre.

IAI's President & CEO, Mr. Moshe Keret, said that: "IAI is proud to stand in the forefront of the State of Israel's space and satellite technology. The cooperation with France provides us an opportunity to broaden international cooperation, and allows us to continue to prove our capabilities in the micro-satellite market."

For further information, please contact:

Doron Suslik
Deputy Corp. VP for Communications
Tel: 972 (3) 935-8509
Fax: 972 (3) 935-8512

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