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Russia and Israel’s Technion Agree to Launch Satellite in Joint Venture

November 1, 1994
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Russia and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa have agreed to a joint venture that will launch a satellite into space in 1995.

After a five-member delegation arrived here to finalize details of the venture, the agreement was signed Monday between the Technion and the Russian STC Complex. The Russian firm was established in 1991 to convert Soviet military technology into Russian civilian enterprises.

The Gurwinl-TechSat communications satellite was designed and built over a period of three years at a cost of $3.5 million. The satellite is scheduled to be launched into space in March, along with two other satellites from a site about 560 miles from Moscow.

Putting the satellite into an orbit some 430 miles above the Earth is expected to cost an additional $250,000, a sum being financed by New York businessman Joseph Gurwin, through the auspices of the American Technion Society.

The satellite project was the brainchild of astrophysicist Giora Shaviv, head of aerospace engineering at the Technion.

Hundreds of students have been involved in the project, together with experts from 12 leading Israeli high-tech companies.

The communications satellite will be used as a relay station for amateur radio operators throughout the world.

The satellite will also be used for scientific experiments, including measuring ozone levels on Earth and tracking cloud formations.

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