Israel Spacecraft Launch in December To Reach Moon by February

13 July, 2018, 16:13 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • SpaceIL

In the row of nations that marched to the Moon, Isreal will be joining soon after its unmanned spacecraft launch in December 2018 using Space X Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Only then it will embark on its scientific mission, and will begin to take photos and videos of the landing site, and measure the moon's magnetic field.

Lacking the resources of those superpowers, SpaceIL turned to private donors to fund the project.

At this point, the lander will ignite its engines to enter a phase of orbiting the moon prior to attempting a lunar touchdown.

Ido Anteby, SpaceIL's CEO, stands in front of an unmanned spacecraft in Yahud, Israel, on July 10.

"The launch of the first Israeli spacecraft will fill Israel, in its 70th year, with pride", said SpaceIL President Morris Kahn.

The project began as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered $30 million (25 million euros) in prizes to encourage scientists and entrepreneurs to come up with relatively low-priced moon missions. "It's a small, smart spacecraft, it has a two meters diameter, its height is about 1.5 meters (3.2 feet), it weighs 600 kilograms (1,300 lbs), and will land on the Moon at the weight of 180 kilograms (396 lbs)".

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IAI CEO Josef Weiss said he regards the launch of the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon as an example of the awesome capabilities once can reach in civilian space activity.

Until now, only three world superpowers - the United States, Russia, and China - have achieved controlled lunar landings.

Dr Anteby said: "We will put the Israeli flag on the moon".

But the SpaceIL team hopes that putting an Israeli-made module on the moon could help maintain Israel's technological momentum for years to come.

On the moon, the vessel will transmit data to the control centre at IAI for two days before its systems shut down. Over the years, additional partners from the private sector, from government companies and from the academia have joined as well. The victor was expected to earn a prize of 20 million dollars to fund the landing of the first non-governmental unmanned spacecraft on the moon.

The competition officially ended with no victor on March 31, with Google announcing that it would no longer sponsor it. The non-profit aims to change the discourse in Israel and to encourage boys and girls to regard science, engineering, technology and math as exciting opportunities for their future. To date, 50,000 children have been reached by SpaceIL volunteers in classrooms around the world.

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