Israeli Satellite Launched into Space

Israeli first communications satellite, the Amos-1, has been launched successfully aboard a European Ariane rocket from French Guiana in northeastern South America.

The rocket, which also carried an Indonesian satellite, lifted off into a cloudy night sky Thursday from the European Space Agency center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Twenty minutes after liftoff, the Indonesian satellite was released into space; four minutes later, the rocket released the Amos-1. After the Israeli satellite becomes operational in four to six weeks, Israel will be among a group of only seven other nations that operate communications satellites.

The one-ton Amos-1 was developed and produced by Israel Aircraft Industries, with Deutsche Aerospace of Germany and Alcatel of France serving as major subcontractors.

Designed to operate in a geostationary orbit for more than 10 years, Amos- 1 will provide services for cable television, telephone, cellular phone and on- line data links.

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