The Israeli research satellite VENµS produced its first images from space today, three weeks after its launch. One of the photographs is of Jerusalem while the others are of various places from around the world.


Jerusalem Photo Credit: The Ministry of Science and Technology/Channel 2 News

Three weeks after VENµS was launched into space, Israel’s first environmental research satellite produced its first images. One picture is a stunning photograph of Israel’s capital city.  

In addition, the satellite captured images of Marseille in France, open fields in Phoenix, Arizona, and tropical rainforests in Peru. VENµS, the flagship project of the Israeli space agency and its French counterpart, was carried into space by a Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Center. Almost 5 million NIS has been invested in the VENµS project.

Rainforests in Peru

Rainforests in Peru Photo Credit: The Ministry of Science and Technology/Channel 2 News

The satellite was built at the Israel Aerospace Industries’ space complex. It is the first civilian satellite to be funded by the Israel Space Agency. VENµS is considered the smallest satellite of its type in the world. It was designed to surveil open fields from space for environmental research while monitoring vegetation, afforestation, agriculture and more.

The satellite is equipped with a special camera that can take pictures of things that the human eye cannot see. The satellite takes pictures of fields in Israel and around the world, transmitting dozens of pictures to researchers at universities, research centers and government agencies a day. VENµS circles Earth 29 times in just 48 hours.

“The expected VENµS launch is additional proof of Israel’s advanced technological capabilities in all domains,” said Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis before the satellite was launched into space. “We are a science, technology and space superpower with which all of the world is asking to cooperate. Many countries will soon enjoy the findings that we will receive from VENµS for research studies in the fields of environment, agriculture, water and food.”