Israel’s Defense Ministry says that its first batch of images from its recently-launched Ofek-16 spy satellite have been received at an Israel Aerospace Industries control station in the town of Yehud.
The ministry said that in the coming weeks, engineering teams are expected to complete a series of “rigorous tests,” after which Ofek-16 will be announced ready for operational use.
For the first time since launching last Monday, the satellite’s observation camera was operated.
Amnon Harari, head of the Space and Satellite Administration, said that the images received were “of excellent quality.”
Engineering teams of the Defense Ministry’s Space Administration in the Directorate of Defense Research and Development along with the Aerospace Industries teams have conducted a series of pre-planned tests over the past days.
The camera was activated after all of the satellite’s systems and subsystems were gradually activated.
Israeli officials believe that the Ofek-16 satellite will give the country an additional means to collect information on “regional threats.”