Israel to launch civilian space program

July 9, 2010 at 2:26 PM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, July 9 (UPI) -- Israel plans to invest $77.5 million over five years to jump-start a space program officials say could become a $10 billion civilian space industry.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, a strong supporter of Israeli aerospace initiatives for years, said he expects the industry to develop into a major source of business, Haaretz reported Friday.

Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu several months ago instructed government officials to develop a national space program to help the 25 Israeli firms in the civilian space sector expand their market.

The international space industry is undergoing major changes, including privatization, Israeli officials noted, adding the civilian space market is worth an estimated $250 billion a year. Sources within the Defense Ministry told Haaretz Israel could capture up to 5 percent of the market.

Several officials said they hoped the space program will be included in the 2011-2012 state budget.

"If the space budget is not included in the present budget, we will lose two important years," space agency Chairman Ben Yisrael said.

The $77.5 million planned annual investment is not part of Israel's budget, Haaretz said.

Topics: Shimon Peres
© 2010 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended Stories
Most Popular
Infant Earth was peppered by asteroids for 500 million years
Ancient cricket found in neglected primeval amber
Deep-sea octopus guards eggs longer than any other animal
The moon is (kind of) flat, and scientists know why
Thousands of velellas wash up on the shores of San Francisco
Trending News