First Images from Israel's Spy Satellite Shared with the Public
Israel's Ministry of Defense released the first images captured by its spy satellite on Tuesday, per the Times of Israel.
The three images are in black and white and are of the ancient ruins of the city of Palmyra in Syria. There is no date stamp on the images and they're almost certainly not as clear as they could be so as to not display just how good the satellite's capabilities may be, as per the Drive's report.
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New spy satellite
Ofek 16, Israel's spy satellite in question, was launched into orbit recently on July 6th by the Ministry of Defense. One week later, its camera arrays were activated, and this week marks the first time images are shared publicly from what Ofek 16 captured.
The three images focused on two areas of Palmyra's ancient city: a Roman amphitheater and the Temple of Bel, or Ba'al.
As per a spokesperson from the Ministry, there is no hidden meaning behind the images.
As per the Times of Israel, this is in contrast to the nation's previous spy satellite, Ofek 11, which launched in 2018 and whose first images were of Syria's dictator's Bashar Assad's palace.
Regardless of whether or not the recent images shared from Ofek 16's launch are political or not, they're impressive. As Defense Minister Benny Gantz said "Israel knows to act against its enemies from up close and from afar and to defend its citizens anywhere and from anywhere."
"The technologies that we are developing in the Defense Ministry and [defense] industries are an effective and significant tool in preserving the security of Israel."
Ofek 16's camera was developed by the Ministry's research and development department, known as MAFAT, as well as Elbit Systems. Engineers from MAFAT are due to head to orbit at some stage in order to keep testing, improving, and developing Ofek 16's camera.
And as per the Ministry, the official name of Ofek 16 is an "optoelectronic reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities."
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