The Ultraviolet Transient Astronomy Satellite (ULTRASAT) will be the first Israeli space telescope project, and it will be launched by NASA. The ultraviolet observatory ULTRASAT will explore the mysteries of transient cosmic occurrences including supernova explosions and neutron star mergers.
The Weizmann Institute of Science and the Israel Space Agency is involved with ULTRASAT. They are leading the effort to get ULTRASAT into a geostationary orbit around the Earth. The goal is to achieve this in 2026. NASA will do more than only launch the mission; they will also be assisting in scientific research.
In a recent conversation with Mark Clampin. The head of NASA’s Astrophysics Division in Washington said about the Israeli space telescope:
“We are proud to join this partnership, an international effort that will help us better understand the mysteries of the hot, transient universe,” He continued: “ULTRASAT will give the global science community another important capability for making new observations in the nascent field of time domain and multi-messenger astrophysics programs.”
ULTRASAT has a wide field of vision. With this feature, ULTRASAT can detect and record Ultraviolet rays. Moreover, It can detect these rays from transient cosmic sources in record time. To study these transient occurrences, combining data from ULTRASAT with data from other missions will be essential. Time domain and multi-messenger astronomy will help in combining the data. Other missions, such as those studying gravitational waves and particles, can contribute to this combined data. Everything from black holes and gravitational wave sources to supernovae and active galaxies will benefit from the results.
Director and Minister of Innovation:
Israeli Space Agency Director and Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Uri Oron made this statement: “Groundbreaking science calls for cutting-edge technology,” Moreover, he said: “Our requirements from ULTRASAT, such as a wide field of view, advanced ultraviolet sensitivity, and real-time data control and transfer are at the forefront of technological developments. Israel’s space industry can deliver these capabilities. The Israel Space Agency is proud of the cooperation with NASA as a direct example of the strong partnership between the agencies, and of the Israeli space industry’s technological effort involved in the development of the telescope.”
Weizmann University of Science astronomer and ULTRASAT project leader Eli Waxman said: “This is a breakthrough project that places Israel at the forefront of global research,” Moreover, he continued: “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.”
NASA and the Israel Space Agency have an agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, NASA has certain responsibilities. However, one of NASA’s responsibilities is to provide the launch opportunity for ULTRASAT. NASA is also responsible for providing the Flight Payload Adapter and other launch-related tasks for ULTRASAT. Moreover, The observatories that are ready to work will be starting moving from the Israel Space Agency to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.