Space Launch Report:  Shavit
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ofek10.jpg (6955 bytes)Shavit

Vehicle Configurations

Vehicle Components

Launch History

Shavit-2 Launches Ofek 10 on April 9, 2014

Shavit ("Comet") is an Israeli orbital launch vehicle capable of carrying small satellites into low earth orbit. Shavit's first launch on September 19, 1988 orbited an engineering test satellite named Ofeq, making Israel the eighth nation to orbit its own satellite.

Shavit consists of three solid fuel motor stages topped by an optional liquid fuel fourth stage. Payloads of only 250-300 kg are possible due to the fact that the rocket must launch toward the west across the Mediterranean Sea, toward the Straits of Gibralter, from Palmachim Airbase on Israel's coast.  The resulting westward, or retrograde orbit, reduces payload mass compared to an eastward launch that would gain free velocity from the Earth's rotation.

Israeli Aircraft Industries manages the Shavit program.  Israel Military Industries builds the first two stage motors.  These are composite case motors.  Rafael builds the spherical, titanium case Advanced Upper Stage (AUS-51) motor. An "Equipment Case" is positioned below the third stage.  A spin table mounted on the Equipment Case supports and spins up the third stage motor until it separates for its burn. 

The first two stages of the original Shavit launch vehicle, identified as ATSM-9, were adopted from the Jerico 2 missile. A subsequent "Shavit-1" upgrade used a stretched first stage motor named ATSM-13.  Later, "Shavit-2" used the stretched motor for both Stages 1 and 2.

Shavit launches from a mobile launch system.  The first two stages boost the vehicle to about 110 km altitude.  The third stage and Equipment Case coast upward to about 250 km where the third stage motor is spun up and separated for its burn.  Typical missions insert payloads into an elliptical transfer orbit with a 250 km perigee and a 700 km apogee. 

2014 Launch

Israel's Shavit-2 rocket launched a synthetic aperture radar imaging satellite named Ofek 10 into orbit from Palmachim Air Base on April 9, 2014. Liftoff took place at 19:06 UTC. Ofek 10 was expected to operate in a 600 km orbit, though some sources described a 330 x 610 km x 141 deg insertion orbit. 

The launch was jointly carried out by IAI and the Defense Ministry’s Space Administration, which is a part of the Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure.

MAFAT, the research and development department of Israel’s Ministry of Defense, contracted Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI Ltd) and other Israeli companies to develop both the Ofek 10 satellite and the Shavit 2 launcher. It was the third Shavit-2 launch
.


Vehicle Configurations

  LEO
Payload
(metric tons)
200 x 1,600 km x 143 deg

Payload
(metric
tons)
Configuration LIftoff
Height
(meters)
Liftoff
Mass
(metric tons)
Shavit 0.160 t   ATSM-9+ATSM-9+AUS-51 48.5 m 30.0 t
Shavit 1 0.225 t   ATSM-13+ATSM-9+AUS-51 m t
Shavit 2 0.300 t   ATSM-13+ATSM-13+AUS-51(+PEPT) m t


Vehicle Components

  ATSM-9
Stage 1
ATSM-9
Stage 2
ATSM-13
Stage 1
ATSM-13
Stage 2
AUS-51
Stage 3
PEPT
Stage 4
(Optional)
Payload
Fairing
Diameter (m) 1.30 m 1.30 m 1.35 m 1.35 m 1.30 m 1.30 m 1.3 m
Length (m) 6.40 m 6.40 m 7.50 m 7.50 m 2.60 m m 2.84 m
Propellant Mass
(metric tons)
9.10 t 9.10 t t 12.75 t 12.75 t 1.89 t 0.166 t -
Total Mass
(metric tons)
10.215 t 10.388 t 13.99 t 14.126 t 2.574 t 0.237 t t
Engine ATSM-9 ATSM-9-S2 ATSM-13 ATSM-13-S2 AUS-51 PEPT -
Engine Mfgr IAI IAI IAI IAI IAI IAI -
Fuel HTPB HTPB HTPB HTPB HTPB MMH -
Oxidizer - - - - - - -
Thrust
(SL metric tons)
42.1 t 42.1 t 57.51 t 57.51 t - - -
Thrust
(Vac metric tons)
46.5 t 48.03 t 62.20 t 64.17 t 6.159 t 0.409 t -
ISP (SL sec) 240 s 220 s 250 s 250 s -- - -
ISP (Vac sec) 265 s 277 s 268 s 268 s 298 s 200 s -
Burn Time (sec) 52 s 52 s 55.4 s 55.4 s 90.5 s 800 s -
No. Motors/Engines 1 1 1 1 1 1 1



Shavit Launch History


DATE     VEHICLE          ID     PAYLOAD                 MASS(t)   SITE*    ORBIT*
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
09/19/88 Shavit           01     Ofek 1                   0.157    PA       LEO/R
04/03/90 Shavit           02     Ofek 2                   0.160    PA       LEO/R
09/15/94 Shavit-1?        ??     Ofek?                             PA      [FTO] [0]
04/05/95 Shavit-1         03     Ofek 3                   0.189    PA       LEO/R
01/22/98 Shavit-1         04     Ofek 4                   0.189    PA      [FTO] [1]
05/28/02 Shavit-1         05     Ofek 5                   0.189    PA       LEO/R
09/06/04 Shavit-1         06     Ofek 6                   0.189    PA      [FTO] [2]
06/10/07 Shavit-2         07     Ofek 7                   0.189    PA       LEO/R
06/22/10 Shavit-2         08     Ofek 9                   0.189    PA       LEO/R
04/09/14 Shavit 2         10     Ofek 10                  0.260    PA       LEO/R
09/13/16 Shavit-2         11     Ofeq 11                           PA       LEO/R
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTES:
[0] Not acknowledged.  May have been Jericho 2 test, or Shavit-1 suborbital test.
[1] Failure during Stage 2 or later.
[2] Third stage failed to ignite or separate.

*ABBREVIATIONS:

 PA = Palmachim, Israel

[FTO] = Failed to Orbit
 LEO = Low Earth Orbit
[LEO] = Unplanned LEO
 LEO/S = Sun Synchronous Low Earth Orbit
 LEO/P = Polar Low Earth Orbit
 LEO/R = Retrograde Low Earth Orbit
 



References

 

 Last Update:  September 13, 2016