Israeli company plans lunar landing next year - 7/10/2018 7:50:35 AM

Mindy Sparks
July 13, 2018

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.

Next, the craft will carry out an experiment designed by the Weizmann Institute of Science and measure the Moon's magnetic field, says the report.

It is expected to land on the Moon in February 2019.

An Israeli non-profit organization said on Tuesday that an Israeli spacecraft is scheduled to land on the moon for the first time at the beginning of 2019.

Israel will launch a rocket from Florida in a bid to become the fourth country to reach the moon.

"The launch of the first Israeli spacecraft will fill Israel, on its 70th year of birth, with pride".

The project has been made possible with the assistance of some generous donors, not the least by SpaceIL's President Mr. Morris Kahn who donated US$27 million.

SpaceIL was founded in 2011 and originally vied for Google's Lunar Xprize, which challenged private companies to try to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon.

Mr. Josef Weiss, IAI CEO concluded that as one who has personally brought the collaboration with SpaceIL to IAI, he regards the launch of the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon as an example of the unbelievable capabilities one can reach in civilian space activity.

"It's a small, smart spaceship", said SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby.

"This is national history", said IAI director Yossi Weiss.

To date, the Us remains the only country to have successfully conducted manned missions to the moon, with the last departing the lunar surface in December 1972. "From the moment the spacecraft reaches the point that it begins the landing, it will handle it totally autonomously". The spacecraft, which weighs only about 600 kilograms, is considered the smallest to land on the moon.

Since 1966, the United States and the former Soviet Union have put around 12 unmanned spacecraft on the moon using braking power to perform "soft" landings and China did so in 2013.

Although the Google contest was eventually scrapped in March 2018 after none of the teams managed to launch their probes before the deadline, the SpaceIL group continued with its project, thanks to the support of its donors. This will take about two days to finish. The competition ended officially with no victor on March 31, when Google announced that it would no longer sponsor it. Kahn told journalists that he hoped to inspire young Israelis to take up the study of science.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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