Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Israel plan to launch historic Moon mission later this year

Israel Set to Land Spacecraft on Moon in Historic First Israel to touch the moon
Cary Marshall | 14 July, 2018, 02:28

An Israeli company is going to be the first to land a privately-funded unmanned spacecraft on the moon if everything goes to plan early next year. Costing around 88 million dollars, the spacecraft will be taken into space on a Falcon 9, a rocket developed by the Space Exploration Technologies Corp., owned by Elon Musk.

"Our mission was never about winning the prize money - although $20 million would have been nice", said SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby. And only the United States has managed to actually land a human on the lunar surface.

SpaceIL has continued the moon landing project to serve as a source of inspiration and as fertile ground for a long-term impact on the next generation of scientists and engineers in Israel.

South African-Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, president of SpaceIL, who has donated $27 million to the enterprise, was extremely excited: "The launch of the first Israeli spacecraft will fill Israel, in its 70th year, with pride".

An Israeli organisation announced plans today to launch the country's first spacecraft to the moon in December, with hopes of burnishing Israel's reputation as a small nation with otherworldly high-tech ambitions.

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The unmanned spacecraft looks like a pod and weighs around 1,300 pounds. If successful this will make Israel the fourth country in the world to soft land a spacecraft on the moon.

SpaceIL is backed by a number of donors, including USA casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Schusterman Family Foundation and South African-born billionaire entrepreneur Morris Kahn.

Three Israeli researchers - Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub were boarded on the determined mission.

The maximum speed expected to reach is over 10 km per second (36,000 kilometers, or almost 22,370 miles, per hour), the report adds.

Non-profit organization SpaceIL was established in 2011 to participate in the competition for the prize of the Google Lunar Xprize, which was established in 2007 for the creation and launch of the spacecraft on the moon. "When the rocket is launched into space, we will all remember where we were when we landed on the moon". It will then ignite its engines and reduce its speed to allow the moon's gravity to pull it in, and will begin orbiting it. The measurements are intended for research conducted at the Weizmann Institute of Science-UCLA.

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