Israel announces mission to land spacecraft on the Moon

Postado Julho 11, 2018

The spaceship will be sent to the Cape Canaveral in the U.S. for its launch a month before that and is scheduled to land on the Moon on February 13, 2019.

An Israeli non-profit group plans to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon in February in the first landing of its kind since 2013.

This Israeli spacecraft is expected to land on the moon in early 2019.

The spacecraft will plant an Israeli flag on the Moon's surface and carry out research into its magnetic field.

SpaceIL's project began as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered $30m (£23m) in prizes to inspire people to develop low-priced methods of robotic space exploration. However, the competition expired this March, with the $20m grand prize for landing on the moon unclaimed.

Despite the setback SpaceIL continued developing its spacecraft, which is being built in co-operation with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a state-owned firm.

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries have raised $88 million (£$66 million, AU$118 million) primarily from private donors to fund the project over the past eight years.

Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL, told a news conference in the Israeli town of Yehud on Tuesday that its probe would be the smallest yet to land on the Moon.

It is measured to be four-feet high, and 6 ½-feet in diameter, and it will be able to reach a maximum speed of 22,370 miles per hour. More than 400kg of that weight is fuel that will be burnt off by the time it lands on the Moon. The other three nations are the United States, Russia, and China.

"We will all remember where we were when Israel landed on the moon", Morris Kahn, one of the project's leaders, said announcing the mission.

Josef Weiss, IAI CEO said, "As one who has personally brought the collaboration with SpaceIL to IAI, I regard the launch of the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon as an example of the unbelievable capabilities one can reach in civilian-space activity".

The project began when young engineers - Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub - made a decision to build a spacecraft and take part in the Lunar Xprize competition sponsored by Google, which originally included a $20 million prize for the first group of contestants to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon.

"This is a tremendous project", he added.