Israel sends military satellite to orbit

Israel’s Defense Ministry said it launched a military satellite, six years after sending its last, spy-satellite into orbit. Israeli officials said the nation’s satellite program is aimed at boosting intelligence-gathering capabilities, including Iran’s nuclear program and Iranian support for terror groups in neighboring Arab countries. The spy satellite called Ofek 11, which is the Hebrew word for “horizon”, blasted off from an Israeli air force test range, located near the Mediterranean coast – south of Tel Aviv.

Shortly after the launch, however, reports revealed that troubles were detected in the satellite systems. The Defense Ministry’s Space Administration Director Amnon Harari said in response that several of the satellite’s systems were not working properly and that a malfunction appears to have occurred. He said that it would take several days to completely assess the situation.