Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Israel To Launch First Spacecraft In December

Moon landing SpaceIL lunar probe SPACEIL GETTYMoon landing SpaceIL's lunar probe will launch by the end of the year
Theresa Hayes | 14 July, 2018, 23:46

The spacecraft's design and development is all Israeli, the organizers explained.

If successful, Israel will be the fourth country to boast the prestige of touching down on the moon after the US, Soviet Russia, and China.

The Israeli mission will take off with a SpaceX Falcon 9, so the launch is scheduled to take place from the U.S. by the end of this year.

SpaceIL's lander is only about two metres in diameter and about 1.5 meters tall. SpaceIL says about $88 million has been invested in the project to date, mostly from private... He had experienced numerous challenges in his life, but this was the greatest challenge of all.

SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries plan to launch their unmanned craft in December, the team said at a press conference at an IAI facility outside Tel Aviv.

An Israeli non-profit affiliated with the local hi-tech and research communities is planning to launch a spacecraft to the moon as an educational endeavor.

Dr Anteby said: "We will put the Israeli flag on the moon". The spacecraft will weigh 585 kilograms at launch but will land on the lunar surface with only 180 kilos.

On Tuesday, the team announced its goal of a February 13, 2019, moon landing, but it has yet to set a specific launch date in December. Reaching such an achievement specifically during Israel's 70th year symbolizes how far they have come, and particularly the endless accomplishments that they can still achieve.

"We need to think about backup plans", Weiss said.

SpaceIL was the only Israeli contestant in the global Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) competition, which had offered a prize of $20 million to the first privately funded team to put a robot down on the moon, move it at least 1,650 feet and have it beam high-definition photos and video to Earth.

A key figure to hop on board the project was Morris Kahn, a South African-born Israeli billionaire, who heard SpaceIL present their project.

IAI, which is the home of Israel's space activity, has been a full partner in this project from its inception. More than 400kg of that weight is fuel that will be burnt off by the time it lands on the Moon. Its maximum speed will reach more than 10 km per second (36,000 kilometers, or almost 22,370 miles, per hour). SpaceIL presented its completed spacecraft, scheduled to launch in December on a SpaceX rocket. It will be the secondary payload, launched with other satellites.

About it reports Reuters with a reference to the Executive Director SpaceIL IDO Anteby.