Ofek-2 Falls from Space

Ofek-2, Israel’s second space satellite launched April 3, re-entered Earth’s atmosphere on Monday and burned up after orbiting the earth for 97 days.

Re-entry had been expected after 50 to 60 days.

The Israel Space Agency and Israel Aircraft Industries, which manufactured Ofek, reported that it operated perfectly on some 1,500 90-minute circuits of the globe.

It temporarily stopped transmitting signals for one week in May, when the solar panels were turned away from the sun, cutting off its source of electric power.

According to the Space Agency, Ofek was not engaged in scientific research. It was sent aloft to provide data to designers for construction of a third satellite, Ofek-3, which is to be launched in 12 to 18 months.

Ofek-1 was launched Sept. 19, 1988, making Israel the first Middle East space power. That flight lasted 118 days.

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