Menachem Kidron, former assistant director general and head of the Manor and technologies divisions at Rafael, was appointed manager of the Israeli space administration. Kidron will be replacing Dr. Zvi Kaplan. Professor Itzhak Ben Israel continues to head the agency.
According to recent reports, the Israeli government allocated the administration a new budget standing at 150 million NIS. In a special interview given to IsraelDefense Magazine, Ben Israel said, “the central idea in the national space program is to leverage our assets in space towards commercial exports.”
The Israeli space program began approximately thirty years ago. Since the 1990s, Israel has been operating several communication satellites. The last satellite, Amos 5, was launched on December 2011.
In addition to communication satellites, Israel also launched nine Ofek satellites into space for photography purposes. The defense industries are currently discussing projects for developing tiny satellites, which will be launched into orbit in space from F-15 aircraft, according to immediate operational necessity.