Israel to land first spacecraft on moon in 2019

SpaceX to launch Israeli spacecraft to the moon

SpaceX to launch Israeli spacecraft to the moon

In an announcement made Tuesday at an Israel Aerospace Industries space technology site in Yehud, project managers shared news of a partnership with Elon Musk's SpaceX to launch an unmanned lunar mission in December and from there they hope to become the fourth country to land on the moon on February 13 of 2019, reports Times of Israel. "The excellent teams of SpaceIL and IAI are working with determination to complete this unique technological challenge in time for the launch date this December".

"What we're doing is we're trying to replicate the Apollo effect in the United States", Kahn told reporters, referring to the surge in interest in science and engineering after the USA space program landed on the moon in 1969.

SpaceIL will ship the as yet unnamed module to the United States in November ahead of the launch.

"After eight challenging years, I am filled with pride that the first Israeli spacecraft, which is in its final construction and testing phases, will soon be making its way to the moon", said Kahn.

"Our mission was never about winning the prize money - although $20 million would have been nice", said SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby.

The project began as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered Dollars 30 million (25 million euros) in prizes to encourage scientists and entrepreneurs to come up with relatively low-priced moon missions. Its maximum speed will reach more than 10 km per second.

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It will be launched via a rocket from Elon Musk's SpaceX firm this December, and it's expected to land on the moon on February 13, 2019.

Its first task, however, will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organisers said.

At 60,000 kilometers (37,000 miles) above Earth the spacecraft will deploy. Upon receipt of a command from the control room, the spacecraft will enter a higher altitude elliptical orbit around Earth, which will reach a point near the moon. Its two-month journey will start from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Despite the SpaceIL initiative is well in framework of Google Lunar XC Prize the SpaceIL will not get the prize as the cash retribution as it has been cancelled by the originator in March 2018 with no winners. This will take about two days to finish.

In 2016, the company ran a promotional campaign at Ben Gurion Airport with a model of the craft, asking travelers to send a selfie with the spacecraft, which would be brought to the surface of the Moon.

But SpaceIL has continued to work on its moon mission. With the help of a broad network of volunteers, SpaceIL has already made presentations to about 900,000 children nationwide.

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