Israel’s first space telescope “Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT)” is set to be launch by NASA in 2026, this was announced on Tuesday by NASA. It will be an ultraviolet observatory with a large field of view, the ULTRASAT will investigate the secrets of short-duration events in the universe, such as supernova explosions and mergers of neutron stars.
The Israel Space Agency and Weizmann Institute of Science, will spear head the research from ULTRASAT. ULTRASAT is planned for launch into geostationary orbit around Earth in early 2026. NASA will be participate in the mission’s science program in addition to providing the launch service.
The Israel Space Agency is in agreement with NASA, for NASA to provide the launch opportunity, Flight Payload Adapter, and other launch-related responsibilities for ULTRASAT. The Israel Space Agency will deliver the completed observatory to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch.
According to the design of the ULTRASAT, it has a very wide field of view, advanced ultraviolet sensitivity, and real-time data control and transfer which will allow for quick discovering and capturing of ultraviolet light from sources in the cosmos that changes on short timescales. Numerous research will be conducted and this will be combine with observations of these short-term events from a variety of other missions, including those studying gravitational waves and particles – a field known as time domain and multi-messenger astronomy. The results will shed light on the workings of everything from black holes and gravitational wave sources to supernovae and active galaxies.
According to Uri Oron, director of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology, “Groundbreaking science calls for cutting-edge technology which are at the forefront of any development in any society”.
On successful lunch of this ULTRASAT, the project will places Israel at the forefront of global research. According to Eli Waxman, one of the astrophysicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science and ULTRASAT’s head researcher, stated that “Leading international bodies such as NASA and the DESY research institute have joined this Israeli-led project as partners, having recognized its scientific significance. They are investing considerable resources in the construction and launch of the satellite to become active participants in this mission with access to its scientific products. It’s a science-driven partnership.”