Broadcast 3657 Amir Notea

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Guest:  Amir Notea:  Topics:  Commercial space in Israel, Israel commercial lunar efforts, space entrepreneurism in Israel, Israel launch industry, space tourism, settlement, space cooperation with the UAE, Artemis, The Artemis Accords and Israel, Israeli public and space.

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We welcomed Amir Notea to the program to discuss space in Israel, the SpaceIL efforts to land on the Moon, commercial space efforts and lots more.  Amir started the discussion by talking about space in Israel going back several decades.  One thing that caught our attention was his commentary about launch to the west, rather than east which he described as launching to a retrograde orbit.  Later in the show a listener asked him to explain what he meant by that term.  He talked about space being mostly a government and defense industry domain in Israel but that commercial and NewSpace was a growing economic force in the country. 

Amir was asked about the SpaceIl Beresheet project which crashed on the lunar surface a few years ago. At the time, Amir was working software with SpaceIL which you will hear him discuss with us.   He said SpaceIL was a nonprofit, then he explained in some detail why the lunar landing was a hard lunar landing.  He told us all the things that went wrong with the landing.  We also talked about the possibility of a Beresheet 2 project.  He said the group was working on raising the funds but he then said that their technical people had left so to do another lunar project would for the most part need a completely new team and company.  Post your comments and questions about this on our blog.

Amir spoke strongly about the need to have spacefaring civilizations.  Our discussions on this subject were interesting so don't miss what our guest had to say.  We spoke quite a bit about space in Israel, the public's awareness and interest in space, specifically commercial space and entrepreneurism.  Even SpaceX and Elon Musk made the agenda.  I was surprised to hear the assessment of these areas with the Israeli public.  Other topics that came up included a commercial space movement in the country which was new and different given most of space with Israeli government and defense.  Listener Ellen asked about space tourism and human spaceflight as points of interest in the country.  Amir said the movements were not large plus most of the opportunity was still government or quasi-government oriented.  When asked about Israel undertaking planetary missions, he said they were too large for the country.  He said the budget for the Israel Space Agency was only about $20 million annually.  Yet another topic zeroed in on the new peace agreement with the UAE.  A listener wanted to know if Israel and the UAE would cooperate on a space venture together given both nations have a space interest.  Amir said he hoped so but he did not know nor did he speak for the government.

We move to an area of Israeli industry making components for spacecraft and satellites.  Amir talked about satellite components and hardware, plus the area of optical work which Israel excels in.  Questions then came in about the Israeli public and space awareness plus more on the ideas of space for humanity.  This discussion prompted us to focus on the subject of space settlement.  Amir said it was an imperative.  He talked about gravity issues along with other health issues that we needed to address to make settlement a reality.  Entrepreneurism and startups were talked about with our guest saying projects for LEO were not so difficult.  Don't miss all of what was said on these topics.

GPS was another discussion topic.  Bob asked if Israel had developed or was developing a regional GPS system. Amir said they mainly use the US GPS system.  More was said about the Israel Space Agency, then Ft. Worth John called to talk about launching to the west instead of the east plus he wanted to know more about native Israeli launch vehicles.  While John and Amir were talking, an email question came in wanting to know about the awareness and impact in Israel and on space in Israel via Elon Musk and SpaceX. 

Artemis proved an important part of this discussion.  At the moment Israel is not part of Artemis or The Artemis Accords but Amir hoped that they would become part of both.  He said he saw no reason not to join in and he firmly believed in the projects.  This was a short but important discussion so don't miss it. I asked our guest about astronauts in Israel.  Of course he mentioned Ilan Ramon who died in the Columbia accident.  There is an annual international space conference each year in Israeli named after Astronaut Ramon.  Another new Israeli astronaut, Eytan Stibbe, has signed to fly with SpaceX and Axiom Space.  As we neared the end of the program, I asked Amir where he saw commercial space in Israel in five years.  He listed a few options from the status quo to movement and growth.  When asked for a summary of today's discussion, he talked about Israel needing to join the Artemis Accords and sign onto The Artemis Accords.  Before leaving, I asked him for a Covid-19 update because Israel got the vaccine early, has reported multiple deaths and the country has been locked down.  Amir gave us a short virus update for the country.

Please post your comments/questions for this program on our blog for this particular show.  You can reach Amir Notea through me here at The Space Show. 

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12 Mar 2021 Amir Notea
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