SpaceX Just Launched Israel's Lunar Lander off to the Moon

SpaceIL team. Courtesy

SpaceIL team. Courtesy

"It's the first time a small country has aimed to reach the moon and land safely".

SpaceX is now testing a system to recover the fairings of its Falcon 9 rockets. Once the spacecraft lands, which is expected happen sometime in April, the mission will only last a few days as the electronics are not created to handle the rising surface temperatures from the sun, according to the Times.

If all goes according to plan, Beresheet, about the size of a dishwasher, will arrive on the near-side of the moon in mid-April following a two-month journey through 4 million miles (6.5 million km) of space.

NASA, which has installed equipment on Beresheet to upload its signals from the Moon, said last week it aims to land instruments later this year or next year and that it is inviting private sector bids to build and launch the U.S. probes.

If the craft is landed successful, Israel will join China, Russia and the United States as the only countries to ever successfully land a craft on the moon.

Lifting off at 8:45 pm EST, the Falcon 9 was able to make it up to the edge of space and put its payloads into orbit before falling back to earth eight minutes later. If successful, it would be the world's first private lunar landing.

Three Tory MPs quit party to join Independent Group over Brexit
According to some reports, member Luciana Berger said on Channel 4 News that the group had funded the launch themselves. Mrs May said she was "saddened", but her party would "always offer. decent, moderate and patriotic politics".

The lander, named Beresheet (meaning "in the beginning" in Hebrew), was built by the Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL, which began working on this mission in 2011 as a contestant in the Google Lunar X Prize. Once it lands, it will send photos and video of its new home and conduct scientific measurements and maybe say hi to China's rover. But Israel's privately funded lunar lander - a first not just for Israel but commercial space - generated the buzz.

"We have a vision to show off Israel's best qualities to the entire world", Sylvan Adams, a SpaceIL donor and Canadian-Israeli philanthropist, said during a pre-launch briefing in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday (Feb. 20).

The SpaceX website said: "Falcon 9's first stage for the Nusantara Satu mission previously supported the Iridium-7 mission in July 2018 and the SAOCOM 1A mission in October 2018".

Adiwoso said 70 to 75 percent of Nusantara Satu's capacity is already spoken for, half of it for the Indonesian government and roughly a quarter for other customers, many of which PSN will transfer off of other operator's spacecraft.

The 5-foot-tall Beresheet lander will be tucked into the rocket with Nusantara Satu. The two others are a telecommunications satellite for Indonesia and an experimental satellite for the U.S. Air Force. SSL is using an approach honed during a secret DARPA experiment previous year that carried a smallsat into orbit aboard the geostationary communications satellite Hispasat-30W-6.

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