Plan to land Israeli spacecraft on moon

Plan to land Israeli spacecraft on moon

SpaceIL, a nonprofit founded in 2010, said on its website it's the only Israeli team participating in the Google Lunar XPrize competition - a competition to land the first privately-funded unmanned spacecraft on the moon.

The project culminated in the design of an Israeli lunar probe, which SpaceIL claimed would launch regardless of the contest's outcome.

The only entities to have conducted controlled landings on the Moon are the governments of the former Soviet Union, the United States, and China.

The IAI-built spacecraft, which was build in 2013, will be transferred to the United States in November, ahead of the launch.

"The launch of the first Israeli spacecraft will fill Israel, on its 70th year of birth, with pride".

"Our mission was never about winning the prize money - although $20 million would have been nice", said SpaceIL CEO 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.

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Israel revealed on Tuesday, July 10, a plan to launch its first moon mission in December aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. 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. The team says it will be the smallest spacecraft to land on the moon. "It is a national accomplishment that will put us on the world's space map", Kahn said.

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 probe weighs approximately 600kg on Earth but that weight will drop down to 180kg in the Moon's lower gravity pull.

The spacecraft, carrying the Israeli flag, will take photos and videos of the landing site and measure the moon's magnetic field as part of a scientific experiment.

On the moon, the vessel will transmit data to the control centre at IAI for two days before its systems shut down.

Despite the SpaceIL initiative is well in framework of Google Lunar XC Prize the SpaceIL will not get the prize as the cash retribution as it has been cancelled by the originator in March 2018 with no winners. This way, they will raise interest in space among the people in Israel, and will also encourage young generations to study STEM. With the help of a broad network of volunteers, SpaceIL has already made presentations to about 900,000 children nationwide.

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