NASA to launch Israel’s first space telescope
The launch of Israel's first telescope is scheduled for early 2026, NASA has indicated
NASA will launch in early 2026 the first Israeli space telescope mission, the Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT).
ULTRASAT, an ultraviolet observatory with a large field of view, will investigate the secrets of short-lived events in the universe, such as supernova explosions and neutron star mergers.
Led by the Israel Space Agency and the Weizmann Institute of Science, NASA will also participate in the mission’s science program.
ULTRASAT’s wide field of view will enable it to quickly discover and capture ultraviolet light from sources in the cosmos that change on short time scales.
The researchers will combine ULTRASAT observations of these short-term events with information from other missions, including those studying gravitational waves and particles, a field known as multi-messenger time-domain astronomy. The results will shed light on the workings of all kinds of phenomena, from black holes and sources of gravitational waves to supernovae and active galaxies.
“This is a groundbreaking project that places Israel at the forefront of global research,” Eli Waxman, an astrophysicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and principal investigator for ULTRASAT, said in a statement.
The Israel Space Agency will deliver the completed observatory to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch.
(Reference image source: Weizmann Institute, Europa Press)
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