A week after the successful launch of Israel’s “Ofek 16” spy satellite, the country’s Defense Ministry and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) reported Tuesday that the satellite’s camera is operational, and that the first images transmitted to the ground control center were of “excellent” quality.

The satellite’s camera was activated following a series of pre-planned tests of the satellite’s systems following the July 6 launch, according to the Defense Ministry.

Over the next few weeks, IAI and Defense Ministry engineering teams will complete the pre-planned tests of the satellite, after which the Defense Ministry will transfer responsibilities to Unit 9900 of the IDF’s Intelligence Corps.

At that time, the satellite will be declared operational.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.

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