Israeli company plans lunar landing next year

Ofer Doron head of IAI's MBT Space Division speaks near the Israeli spacecraft of the SpaceIL team's spacecraft during a press conference at the Israel Aerospace facility in Yahud

"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)".

The plan is for the lunar spacecraft to land on the moon on February 13, 2019, after a two-month journey from Earth. He had experienced numerous challenges in his life, but this was the greatest challenge of all.

The unmanned mission is a joint effort between private company Israel Aerospace Industries and nonprofit organization SpaceIL.

Israel is expected to make a historic Moon landing early next year with a Moon lander that is set to be launched late 2018.

SpaceIL was the only Israeli contestant in the worldwide Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) competition, which had offered a prize of $20 million to the first privately funded team to put a robot down on the moon, move it at least 1,650 feet and have it beam high-definition photos and video to Earth.

So far, only the US, Russia and China have landed spacecrafts on the moon.

Yossi Weiss, the CEO of IAI, said conquering space is not just a way to prove technological prowess, but also an increasingly urgent need for a human race rapidly dilapidating its resources.


Its first task will be to plant an Israeli flag on the surface and then take still pictures and video.

The competition never got off the ground, but SpaceIL kept working, getting funding from donors, including Kahn and American Jewish billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson.

IAI, which is the home of Israel's space activity, has been a full partner in this project from its inception. The most prominent among these are Weizmann Institute of Science; Israel Space Agency; the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space; Bezeq and others.

SpaceIL will ship the as yet unnamed module to the United States in November ahead of the launch. However, the probe will land on the Moon in February 2019. Its maximum speed will reach more than 10 km per second.

The unmanned, $88 million Israeli spacecraft will blast off on a Falcon 9 rocket made by Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp.

"Our mission was never about winning the prize money - although $20 million would have been nice", said SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby. From the moment of its launch, it will begin a long, complex flight course. The spacecraft will disengage from the launch rocket at an altitude of 60,000 kilometers, or 37,282 miles, and will begin orbiting Earth in elliptical orbits. These were the words quoted when Neil Armstrong from the United States of America stepped on Moon for the first time. This process will be executed autonomously by the spacecraft's navigation control system, project team members said. Its two-month journey will start from Cape Canaveral, Florida. This will take about two days to finish.

ARSP.B1). SpaceIL originally hoped to win Google's Lunar XPRIZE, but eventually failed to meet the criteria, and the competition ended with no winners. Google Lunar prize was intended as reward for the first commercial organization which will land a spacecraft on the Moon.

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