The unmanned spacecraft, shaped like a pod and weighing some 585 kilograms (1,300 pounds) at launch, will land on the moon on February 13, 2019 if all goes according to plan, organizers SpaceIL told a news conference in Yehud, central Israel.
"What we're doing is we're trying to replicate the Apollo effect in the United States", Kahn told reporters, referring to the surge in interest in science and engineering after the USA space program landed on the moon in 1969.
The spacecraft's design and development process, which involved intensive work of engineers, scientists and team members, began in 2013 and continued until past year, when its construction at the IAI MABAT Plant commenced.
Israel is expected to make a historic Moon landing early next year with a Moon lander that is set to be launched late 2018.
About it reports Reuters with a reference to the Executive Director SpaceIL IDO Anteby.
SpaceIL launched in 2011 when engineers Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub partnered to compete in the Google Lunar XPRIZE-an worldwide competition to put a small, mobile craft on the moon. Its maximum speed will reach more than 10 kilometers per second (36,000 kilometers, or almost 22,370 miles, per hour).
"Ship, having the form of a round table on the four pillars of carbon fiber, will be launched in December aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida", - stated in the message. The spacecraft, which weighs only about 600 kilograms, is considered the smallest to land on the moon.
"We will put the Israeli flag on the moon", said Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL. At this point, it will ignite its engines and reduce its speed to allow the moon's gravity to capture it.
A group of private Israeli companies are joining the race to return to the moon, after NASA's recent cancellation of a lunar mission and India's announcement that in October it will send a rover to look for signs of water and nuclear fuel. The entire journey, from launch to landing, will last approximately two months.
The plan calls for the lander to execute a series of in-space maneuvers, then touch down on the lunar surface next February to transmit imagery and measure the moon's magnetic field. However, Google announced in March that the competition had expired, with the $20 million grand prize remaining unclaimed.
But SpaceIL has continued to work on its moon mission.
The initiative aims to raise interest in space and science among Israelis and encourage the younger generations to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professions.