Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shavit 1


Israeli all-solid orbital launch vehicle. Shavit 1 is an improved version of the original Shavit with a stretched first stage motor.

LEO Payload: 225 kg (496 lb) to a 366 km orbit at 143.00 degrees. Failures: 2. First Fail Date: 1998-01-22. Last Fail Date: 2004-09-06. Launch Price $: 15.000 million in 1999 dollars.

Stage Data - Shavit 1

  • Stage 1. 1 x LK-1. Gross Mass: 13,990 kg (30,840 lb). Empty Mass: 1,240 kg (2,730 lb). Thrust (vac): 774.000 kN (174,002 lbf). Isp: 268 sec. Burn time: 55 sec. Isp(sl): 250 sec. Diameter: 1.35 m (4.42 ft). Span: 1.50 m (4.90 ft). Length: 7.50 m (24.60 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: LK-1. Status: Development 2002. Comments: Lengthened version of Shavit/RSA-3 rocket motor. For lower stage use with 17.1:1 nozzle. Fitted with 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use specific impulse increases to 279 seconds, length to 8.4 m, and empty and gross mass are increased by 135 kg.
  • Stage 2. 1 x RSA-3-2. Gross Mass: 10,971 kg (24,186 lb). Empty Mass: 1,771 kg (3,904 lb). Thrust (vac): 476.600 kN (107,144 lbf). Isp: 277 sec. Burn time: 52 sec. Isp(sl): 220 sec. Diameter: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Span: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Length: 6.40 m (20.90 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: RSA-3-2. Status: Out of production. Comments: Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. Empty mass includes 583 kg for payload shroud, guidance, orientation and spin-up platform that positions stage 3 and payload for final orbital insertion burn.
  • Stage 3. 1 x RSA-3-3. Gross Mass: 2,048 kg (4,515 lb). Empty Mass: 170 kg (370 lb). Thrust (vac): 58.800 kN (13,219 lbf). Isp: 298 sec. Burn time: 94 sec. Diameter: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Span: 1.30 m (4.20 ft). Length: 2.60 m (8.50 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: RSA-3-3. Status: Out of Production. Comments: Data accurate. Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. ARC/Rafael AUS 51 is identical.

AKA: Shaviyt 1; NEXT.
Status: Active.
Gross mass: 30,000 kg (66,000 lb).
Payload: 225 kg (496 lb).
Height: 18.00 m (59.00 ft).
Diameter: 1.35 m (4.42 ft).
Thrust: 760.00 kN (170,850 lbf).
Apogee: 366 km (227 mi).
First Launch: 1995.04.05.
Last Launch: 2010.06.22.
Number: 6 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Ofeq 3 Israeli military surveillance satellite. 4 launches, 1995.04.05 (Ofeq-3) to 2006.04.25 (EROS-B). Ofeq 3 was Israel's second-generation imaging surveillance satellite. More...
  • Ofeq 5 Israeli military surveillance satellite. Operational, first launch 2002.05.28. Ofeq-5 was said to be about 33% heavier than its predecessors. More...

Associated Engines
  • LK-1 IAI solid rocket engine. 774 kN. In production. Isp=272s. Lengthened version of Shavit rocket motor. Lower stage used 9:1 nozzle. 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use inceased Isp to 279 seconds, First flight 1995. More...
  • RSA-3-3 South Africansolid rocket engine. 51 kN. In production. Israeli AUS-51 rocket motor, built in both Israel and South Africa. Isp=292s. Upper stage engine for RSA-3, RSA-4, Shavit, Shavit 1. First flight 1988. More...
  • RSA-3-2 South African solid rocket engine. 519 kN. In production. Built in both Israel and South Africa for RSA-3 and Shavit. Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. Isp=284s. First flight 1988. More...

See also
  • Daniel Israel and South Africa collaborated closely in rocket technology in the 1970's and 1980's. South Africa provided Israel with the uranium and test facilities it needed for its strategic weapons programmes. In exchange Israel provided aerospace technology. This included the capability of building the ten-tonne solid propellant rocket motors designed for the Israeli Jericho-2 missile. These motors were the basis of two space launchers for an indigenous 'R5b' space programme. It seems that South Africa also planned to use these motors in a series of missiles to provide a nuclear deterrent. More...
  • Shavit Satellite launcher derived from Jericho II MRBM, essentially identical to South African RSA-3. NEXT was a variant with an improved upper stage for proposed launch from Wallops Island, USA (launch from Israel is only possible into retrograde orbits since due East launch would be over territory of adjacent countries). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • IAI Israeli manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Israel Aircraft Industries, Israel. More...

Associated Programs
  • Offeq Israeli indigenous satellite series. Launching organization: Israel Aircraft Industries, Ltd (IAI) and Israeli Space Agency (ISA). Function of first Offeqs: 1) Experimentation in generation of solar power; 2) Experimentation in transmission reception from space; 3) Verification of system's ability to withstand vacuum and weightless conditions; 4) Data collection on space environment conditions and Earth's magnetic field. Later models provided military optical and electronic reconnaissance services. More...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Palmachim Israeli coastal missile test site from which the Shavit satellite launch vehicle is also launched. A due-west launch over the Mediterranean is required to avoid overflying Arab countries, resulting in unique orbital inclinations and directions.

    The site was known to have been used for 40 launches from 1987 to 2007. More...


Associated Stages
  • LK-1 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 13,990/1,240 kg. Thrust 774.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 268 seconds. Lengthened version of Shavit/RSA-3 rocket motor. For lower stage use with 17.1:1 nozzle. Fitted with 23.6:1 nozzle for upper stage use specific impulse increases to 279 seconds, length to 8.4 m, and empty and gross mass are increased by 135 kg. More...
  • RSA-3-2 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 10,971/1,771 kg. Thrust 476.60 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 277 seconds. Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. Empty mass includes 583 kg for payload shroud, guidance, orientation and spin-up platform that positions stage 3 and payload for final orbital insertion burn. More...
  • RSA-3-3 Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 2,048/170 kg. Thrust 58.80 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 298 seconds. Data accurate. Source: Missile exhibit and placards, AF Museum, South Africa. ARC/Rafael AUS 51 is identical. More...

Shavit 1 Chronology


1995 April 5 - . 11:16 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 3.
  • Ofeq-3 - . Mass: 189 kg (416 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ISA. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. Decay Date: 2000-10-24 . USAF Sat Cat: 23549 . COSPAR: 1995-018A. Apogee: 694 km (431 mi). Perigee: 366 km (227 mi). Inclination: 143.4000 deg. Period: 94.50 min.

1998 January 22 - . 12:56 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 4. FAILURE: Launch vehicle failed during second stage burn.. Failed Stage: 2.
  • Ofeq-4 - . Nation: Israel. Agency: ISA. Manufacturer: IAI. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 3. COSPAR: F980122A. Summary: Fell in Mediterranean Sea..

2002 May 28 - . 15:25 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 5.
  • Ofeq-5 - . Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: Tsahal. Manufacturer: IAI. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 5. USAF Sat Cat: 27434 . COSPAR: 2002-025A. Apogee: 757 km (470 mi). Perigee: 370 km (220 mi). Inclination: 143.5000 deg. Period: 95.90 min. Military Observation satellite. Return to flight of the Shavit booster following a lauanch failure. Launch delayed from third quarter 2001. The three-stage Shavit rocket took off from Palmachim Air Force Base on the Israeli coast and flew westward to put the satellite in a retrograde orbit. The AUS-51 third stage solid motor entered a 262 x 774 km x 143.5 deg orbit and separated from the Ofeq satellite. Both coasted up to apogee at around 1620 UTC when Ofeq made a burn to increase its velocity by 33 m/s, raising the orbit to 369 x 771 km x 143.5 deg.

2004 September 6 - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 6. FAILURE: Third stage orientation failure at 270 seconds into the flight. Failed Stage: 3.
  • Ofeq-6 - . Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: Tsahal. Manufacturer: IAI. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 5. Summary: Military observation satellite failed to reach orbit. Finanical loss estimated by Israeli press as $ 100 million..

2007 June 10 - . 23:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1. LV Configuration: Shaviyt 1 7.
  • Ofeq-7 - . Mass: 300 kg (660 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: Tsahal. Manufacturer: IAI. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 5. USAF Sat Cat: 31601 . COSPAR: 2007-025A. Apogee: 576 km (357 mi). Perigee: 340 km (210 mi). Inclination: 141.8000 deg. Period: 93.80 min. Summary: Israeli optical reconnaisance satellite, evidently using an improved version of the Shavit booster and probably heavier and more capable than its predecessors..

2010 June 22 - . 19:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Palmachim. LV Family: Shavit. Launch Vehicle: Shavit 1.
  • Ofeq 9 - . Mass: 189 kg (416 lb). Nation: Israel. Agency: ISA. Program: Offeq. Class: Surveillance. Type: Surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: Ofeq 5. USAF Sat Cat: 36608 . COSPAR: 2010-031A. Apogee: 586 km (364 mi). Perigee: 400 km (240 mi). Inclination: 141.8000 deg. Period: 94.50 min. Summary: Israeli optical surveillance satellite..

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