(JNS.org) Venus, a micro-satellite weighing 585 pounds that was jointly designed by Israeli and French aerospace firms, will launch early next month with the aim of monitoring climate change.
The mission, which will closely monitor the impact of human activity on vegetation as well as monitor water and carbon levels, aims to observe 110 sites on five continents every two days, according to Venus project leader Pierric Ferrier.
The micro-satellite was built as part of collaboration between Israel Aerospace Industries and France’s space agency. Additionally, Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems provided the micro-satellite’s electric propulsion system and Elbit Systems provided its high-resolution camera.
Jean-Yves Le Gal, president of the French National Center for Space Studies, hailed the French-Israeli collaboration.
“Venus is a Franco-Israeli satellite with a scientific as well as a technological goal,” he said, Reuters reported. “Scientific, because it will enable us to observe vegetation with a two-day frequency and a high precision, and this within a specific environment in the context of the fight against climate change. It is definitely a satellite at the service of the fight against climate change….And technological, because for the first time we are going to use a plasmic propulsion designed by Israel and it will enable us to test this propulsion while in orbit. It is a great example of successful space collaboration between France and Israel.”
The satellite is slated to be launched Aug. 1 from French Guyana, with its mission scheduled to last three and a half years.