Lunar Exploration
Photo: Amir Brandt

NASA to launch Israeli technology

First Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to be launched Wednesday includes technology developed by Kfar-Saba based Sital company. 'This is proof Israelis are preferred over competitors around the world,' management says

The American National Aeronautics and Space Administration will be launching its first Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in its Vision for Space Exploration plan on Wednesday, using technology that was developed by an Israeli company.


Sital Technology, headed by founder Ofer Hofman, CEO and General Manager Nir Hamzani, and Marketing and Sales VP Duli Yariv was first contacted by NASA four years ago, shortly after the company's website was launched.


"Before that we only had two clients," said Hofman, "Of course we were surprised, we didn't do any marketing, and suddenly we get an e-mail from a top official in the American space agency's technological development department."


NASA asked Sital for more information on the company, and the two bodies began working together. The technology to be launched on Wednesday, will carry out accurate, three-dimensional mapping of the moon, and is programmed to find safe landing sites, locate potential resources, and characterize the radiation environment.


The Israeli solution is actually considered more expensive than those of the three other companies in the world that operate in the field. "They were looking for a small solution that would be durable and reliable in an environment like that in space," Yariv said.


"On Earth you store information in the computer's memory, and when you want to retrieve the information you get it exactly as you stored it. But in space, the information you retrieve is not that same information that you stored, which causes critical failures," he added.


Hofman, Hamzani and Yariv used Sital's team of engineers, most of whom served in the Israel Air Force's technical departments, and were able to come up with an advanced solution.


”This is proof that in places where technological superiority, absolute reliability and intellectual flexibility are needed, we, the Israelis, are preferred over all our competitors around the world," the three said.


The company heads refused to give details on the financial scope of the deal, but sources in the industry say it is valued at some hundreds of thousands of dollars.


According to the sources, there is already talk of using the new technology in many other NASA projects, including a manned telescope set to be launched to space – a deal that is valued at some dozens of millions of dollars.


Sital is currently involved in 15 different development projects for NASA.


פרסום ראשון: 06.17.09, 14:00
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