Israeli space technology prepares for takeoff; know more

When the Israeli-built lunar module Beresheet fell on the Moon in 2019, the country’s space technology industry did not regret.

Israel is actually one of only four countries to have flown a spacecraft so far, and there are plans to launch Beresheet 2 as soon as 2024, complete with a lander and an orbiter.

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Israeli optimism for what would be perceived in the most risk-averse countries as a professional disaster is not unique to space technology, but it is a big reason why 2023 could be the year that Israeli innovation will reach truly stratospheric heights.

The mission is being supported in part by the Israeli government, which has pledged to invest $180 million in the civilian space industry over five years so it can compete globally.

The funding, promoted by the Israel Space Agency, has main objectives:

  • Quadruple the number of employees in space technology companies from 2,500 to 10,000;
  • Increase total spending on space technology projects from $1 billion to $1.25 billion;
  • Increase the number of university researchers in space-related subjects from 120 to 160;
  • Increase the number of high school students interested in working in space from 200 to 4,000.

Space technology incubators

The government cannot afford all the funds. In this way, private investors and incubators dedicated to the promotion of space technology have emerged.

One of them, Earth&Beyond, in partnership with the Israeli satellite phone company Spacecom, won a public order to create Israel’s first incubator totally focused on space technology startups.

“We want to be part of the new space revolution,” the incubator’s director of incubation, Ofer Asif, who is also the company’s senior vice president, told Space.com. “Our vision is that by 2030 there will be hundreds of ‘NovoEspaço’ startups with 20,000 employees. Groups like ours will continue to invest billions in these companies.

Astra is the first space technology accelerator delivered by IAI and Starbust. It is designed to benefit Israel’s developing space ecosystem.

Starbust also runs 13-week accelerator programs in Los Angeles, Paris and Singapore and a one-year accelerator program that Alliel says positions startups as “three times better at growing their next cycles than others in the market.

Israel CEO Noémie Alliel notes that among the categories Starburst invests in are regional mobility (including supersonic and hybrid launch vehicles and flights); infrastructure in orbit; and enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber security.

With information from ISRAEL21c

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons

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