Israel set to join elite lunar club with first mission to moon

Israel set to join elite lunar club with first mission to moon

Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) say that Israel's inaugural voyage to the moon - the world's first privately funded lunar mission - will begin Thursday night at approximately 8:45 p.m., U.S. Eastern time, when the lunar lander "Beresheet" ("In the Beginning") blasts off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the booster could fly again as early as April in support of Crew Dragon's in-flight abort mission, although his implication that that test will occur in April directly contradicts a recent NASA schedule update that pegged the test no earlier than (NET) June 2019.

It will attach to Nusantara Satu then deploy when they are both in orbit. Eastern, deploying the Beresheet lunar lander 33 minutes later, and the Nusantara Satu telecom satellite with the S5 experimental smallsat almost 45 minutes after liftoff.

The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet launched this evening on a trip to the moon, where it hopes to touch down in two months.

SpaceX recovered a payload fairing for the first time in 2017.

After making its way to the moon, Beresheet will have to perform a soft landing on the surface, after which it will photograph everything it can and study the surrounding environment. Data will be relayed via the U.S. space agency NASA's Deep Space Network to SpaceIL's Israel-based ground station Yehud. The organization was founded by three engineers: Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari, and Yonatan Winetraub, who answered the global challenge presented by Google Lunar XPRIZE: to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon.

US says Alabama woman who joined Islamic State can't return
Even if she was mandated to undergo a deradicalisation program upon her return, the efficacy of such programs is nascent at best. She left with three teenage girls, one of whom was later killed in a house bombing, the other whose fate is unknown.

If successful, Israel won't just become the first nation to launch a private mission to the moon, it will also become the fourth country to ever reach the lunar surface.

US satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral, a Maxar company, purchased the Falcon 9 launch on behalf of its customer Pasifik Satelit Nusantara, or PSN. Beresheet will only be able to run for about three days max once it lands. The company, inspired by SpaceIL's lunar ambitions, has developed commercial ambitions of its own regarding the moon.

About a half-hour after launching, the lunar lander will separate from the SpaceX rocket at a little more than 37,282 miles above Earth's surface and start a two-month journey to the Moon.

The spacecraft will use electric propulsion to get into orbit and has traditional, chemical thrusters for stationkeeping.

The 5-foot-tall Beresheet lander will be tucked into the rocket with Nusantara Satu. Attached to PSN 6 for later deployment is the United States Air Force Research Lab's (USAFRL) S5 spacecraft. The 4,735kg satellite, manufactured by Space Systems Loral (SSL), is destined to spend at least 15 years in geostationary orbit, providing voice and data communications throughout the Indonesian archipelago.

Related Articles