Note that NASA is in fact being very generous towards SpaceIL, by providing time on the DSN and other assets. I'm just clearing up the bit about the LRA.
I mean, it's nice that we have F-35s now, but with the support we give to US in the region, I don't think we actually get a fair deal out of this relationship.
PS: Israel has a GDP of 350.9 billion USD, US had a GDP of 542 billion in 1960 which works out to: $4,622 billion or around 13x Israel which just shows how much richer the world has become.
Israel might be small but it has the money and more importantly the knowhow to run a proper space program and develop a real launcher rather than the 3/4 stage "we promise it's not an ICBM" they use to launch their military satellites, if their situation would've been different and they could cut down on defence spending they likely could've been on the same level as India, keep in mind that India only spends about $1bln. a year on theirs, Israel spends nearly $20bln on defence.
Israeli companies use knowledge / leadership skills gained from working for IDF.
I also think that the defense industry is a red herring to some extent at least as far as it being the secret sauce behind their high technology industry.
I would argue that the large immigration from Russia after the collapse of the USSR helped them more than their compulsory military service, as the joke goes when GLONASS goes down Russia dials +972.
Per capita Israel still has higher GDP than Portugal or Poland not to mention Russia.
With a GDP of $350 billion an an advanced aerospace industry they can easily have a bigger space program than they do now its only a question of if they need it and would want to pay for it.
Israel has a basic space launch vehicle and has experience in developing and manufacturing satellites and launching them if they could or wanted to spend a few billion dollars a year they could easily be on the same footing as India today if not further.
Russia has a space program because historically they did had a high GDP they were the 2nd upto the fall of the Soviet Union, GDP per capita was still pretty bad but not as bad as it is today, the per capita GDP of the US was only about double that of the USSR in the 1980’s but it’s 6 time that of Russia today.
The reason why many people in Russia romanticize the days of the USSR today isn’t just Kermlin propaganda in 1989 their GDP per capita was ~$8700 today it’s only $2000 higher than what it was before the wall fell, adjusted for infalation they are considerably poorer today than they were in the past at the same time period the US went form $18,000 to $60,000 per capita.
Israel already has a space program and an orbital launch platform it’s just very small because of lack of funding which according to some reports is between 50 and 200M a year that’s not enough to do anything substantial.
With 1-2 bln a year their program would likely be very different.
Their LPG fields might be quite large but at this point they likely would run the clock on shale oil before we move off carbon based fuels.
We might still power jets in 2050 with oil (and even then biofuel makes more sense) but not cars and likely not homes.
To argue that we'll "move off carbon based fuels" before the shale oil can be exploited is a baseless prediction. People have been forecasting peak oil and the death of fossil fuels for decades now, and have been wrong time and again.
If oil indeed is to be replaced (and I am not opposed at all to clean energy) then what will replace it, when, and how? What happens to the billion existing cars in the world? The trillions of dollars of infrastructure?
For some reason, there's a lot of fact-free wishful thinking surrounding the whole topic of energy. In fact, if the Israelis find a way to tap the shale oil deposits without damaging the aquifer in the next 10-15 years, they will emerge as a major oil producer.
300> bln tonnes of shale with only a fraction of it practically extractable.
> • Out of the enormous geological reserves only a fraction (2-4%) may
be defined as mineable, possibly around 1-2 X 10^9 tons.
10^9 tons is about 6.5 million barrels of oil if they have perfect extraction.
There is a good reason why Israel hasn’t been exploiting shale oil on a large scale it’s not feasible nor economical at this point, and there is a huge question mark if it would ever be.
In fact its mostly small countries who do big things. Greece under Alexander the great.
And more recently England. It was like a small Island and pretty much ruled the whole world.
In other words, one of it’s biggest funder is the same guys that funded Trump’s campaign . I’m glad he is also using his casino money on some good work.
Likewise, any time China is mentioned, a dozen people will chime in about freedom of speech, the Uyghurs, the great firewall, espionage, etc.
Mentioning that Israel is a brutal apartheid state is not any more off-topic. Mind you, the gp post goes a bit past mentioning that.
Arguing this isn't for HN. Attempting to call out a state using misleading labels isn't a sign of intellectual honesty. Its a state level version of an ad hominem, and demonstrates that the accuser has lost an argument badly.
Whether or not you like/dislike Israel is not the point under discussion. Whether or not you believe things you've heard about them from others doesn't matter.
What matters is that this little state, under constant and tremendous threat over its 70+ years of existence from terrorists, their fellow travelers, NGOs, and states alike, can still launch a cost effective privately funded moon mission.
While true that the Israeli oppression of its Arab and Muslim minorities within its internationally recognised borders is not exactly the same as South African apartheid, the analogy credibly holds. The oppression of the Arab population under its occupation and the consistent collective punishment visited upon those captive populations outside its internationally recognized borders is a whole other kettle of fish. That Israel is an ethno-nationalist state that has many laws that privilege people of a given religion over another is fact . Whether the level of state discrimination at this point constitutes apartheid is arguable. That one can make the argument is not antisemitic.
You can disagree about the extent, but it's stifling free speech to lump it under antisemitism and say you cannot bring it up. So credible, that a variety of Israeli leaders have warned against the very thing.
And it is relevant. If you believe that South Africa during apartheid should be called out for its apartheid, then it IS relevant to bring it up. If the murder of Khashoggi by the Saudis tars their economic achievements, why shouldn't this?
Funnily enough, South Africa under apartheid was a plucky little country that withstood much indigenous aggression and had a world leading economy.
Also I don't think the term "apartheid state" is to be interpreted literally. Of course Israel doesn't have a South African style apartheid system. But it still treats Palestinians as second-class citizens.
The enemy of my enemy isn't my friend though; Israel is indeed under constant attack, and Palestine often used more a tool to try and damage Israel rather than help Palestinians, and while Palestinians don't really need enemies with friends such as Hamas etc. ("fun" fact, suicide bombings against civilians were first done by Palestinians)... criticism of Israel must never imply excusing any of that, and the other way around.
Many people seem to have problems with that, because if the "other side" does bad things and is therefore bad, they can't be bad, too. Which is really problematic when they factually are, and waste a lot of time, and deform many generations, because they consider the correct answer out of bounds. These things will not change. When you forgot Leibowitz for good, he will not cease to be correct, you will be doomed, that is all.
To make it so that one would have to be blind and pretend two wrongs make a right to be a friend, or otherwise be considered an enemy, a "fellow traveler with terrorists", is also not exactly intellectually honest, and only moves flyweights. As Schopenhauer said, ignorance starts to become really shameful when it is combined with wealth.
That it took a slob like Trump to recognize Jerusalem, something not even Bush did, or that the sponsor of this moon expedition also sponsored Trump, that's not "fellow travellership", at all. That's just coincidence, a broken clock being right twice a day, nothing to do with the spirit of it.