Israeli defense company Elbit Systems announced on Wednesday that it had won a $16 million contract to supply a space telescope to the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot.

The telescope will be part of Israel’s Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (“ULTRASAT”) program to observe and research deep space, said Elbit.

“The ULTRASAT program, jointly managed and funded by the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Israeli Space Agency, is carried out in association with the German DESY research center. The contract will be performed over a period of two years,” it added.

“Elbit Systems will develop, manufacture and integrate a highly sensitive, wide field of view (200 square degrees) ultraviolet space telescope that is intended to help scientists in understanding the creation of heavy elements, black holes and gravitational waves, and to discover astronomical phenomena such as supernovas (star explosions),” said the company.

It noted its record of providing space cameras, satellites and other electronic instruments of its production to space programs to other areas of the world, such as the United States, Europe, South Korea and Brazil.

“We are proud to take part in this scientific endeavor lending our capabilities and experience to the effort to better understand nature,” stated Oren Sabag, general manager of Elbit Systems ISTAR EW (Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare) Division.

The telescope is being designed for a three-year orbit at 36,000 kilometers from Earth.


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