Israel Launches First-Ever Mission to the Moon

SpaceX Is Launching Israel's First Mission to the Moon Tonight

The 100 million-dollar Beresheet mission could not afford its own rocket - even a little one - so the organisers opted for a ride share. Previously, only the U.S., U.S.S.R, and China have landed spacecraft on the moon. If this mission succeeds, Israel will become the fourth-and by far the smallest-country to reach the lunar surface.

Americans are the only ones to have walked on the lunar surface, but have not been there since 1972. In the case of Beresheet is the first Lander to a private company, is set to touch down on the moon.

The next SpaceX launch that was expected was tentatively scheduled for early March. Their vehicle, which weighs 350 pounds (160 kilograms) without fuel, would be the smallest ever to make a lunar landing.

Stored inside is a totem to the nation: a time capsule in the form of three disks containing Israeli artefacts such as its Proclamation of Independence, national songs and drawings by Israeli children. The entire mission cost about $100 million-quite affordable for a lunar mission. "The strength of Israel in the world is rising, rising, rising and rising to the moon", Netanyahu said.

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He added: "Several hours ago I said that the State of Israel is a rising global power, to the moon". SpaceIL officials say that the data collected will help scientists learn more about the creation and evolution of the moon. Beresheet and PSN-6 will now take opposite paths forward, with the lunar lander raising its orbit quite literally to the Moon while PSN-6 drops its high end down and circularizes at approximately 35,800 km (22,250 mi) above Earth.

As for the Americans, a return to the Moon is now the official policy of NASA, according to guidelines issued by President in 2017. "This is a remarkable thing because we continue to demonstrate our ability to punch far above our weight and to show off our skills, our innovation [and] our creativity in tackling any hard problem that could possibly exist". To achieve this, the U.S. space agency is changing its model and no longer wants to design the missions itself.

The 1,290-pound (585 kg) spacecraft was built by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with $100 million furnished nearly entirely by private donors.

The landing sequence should take about 15 minutes - a delicate procedure that'll be monitored by a joint group from the Israel Space Agency, NASA and the Weizmann Institute of Science, reports The Jerusalem Post.

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