First Satellite Launch from Israel

Twenty-five years ago today — September 19, 1988 — a Shavit rocket launched from Palmahim, Israel, in the Negev desert.

(Launch of a Shavit rocket. Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

The Ofeq 1 (Horizon 1) spacecraft was a demonstration satellite and the first-ever launched by Israel from its own territory. Ofeq 1 operated until January 14, 1989, when it re-entered the atmosphere.

The successful launch “made Israel the eighth nation to launch a satellite on its own rocket.”

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