Israeli Venture to Shoot for the Moon in December

Christopher Davidson
July 14, 2018

An Israeli company is going to be the first to land a privately-funded unmanned spacecraft on the moon if everything goes to plan early next year.

"This is a small and smart vehicle, said at a press conference, IDO, Antabi of SpaceIL".

It is anticipated to get launched through a rocket from SpaceX, this December, and foreseen to arrive on the destination on February 13, 2019.

December space launch is a joint venture between SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries. More than two-thirds of the weight is fuel, which will be used up by the time it lands on the moon's surface. Israel would then join the exclusive club of nations that has accomplished this hard feat since the 1960s, becoming the fourth nation to land a craft on the moon after Russian Federation, the United States and China.

The probe, with 6.5 feet in diameter, 4.9 feet in height and almost 1,322 pounds in weight, will be the smallest space body to reach the moon so far.

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But Zanu PF deputy secretary for legal affairs Paul Mangwana said: "We are on the ground addressing people who will vote". Our demonstration is just a highlight that we are not going to allow these people to steal elections", he said.

South African-Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, president of SpaceIL, who has donated $27 million to the enterprise, was extremely excited: "The launch of the first Israeli spacecraft will fill Israel, in its 70th year, with pride". Its expected maximum speed could exceed 10 kilometers per second.

Non-profit organization SpaceIL was established in 2011 to participate in the competition for the prize of the Google Lunar Xprize, which was established in 2007 for the creation and launch of the spacecraft on the moon. "It's a national accomplishment that will put us on the world's space map".

Following blast off, the spacecraft will separate from the launch rocket at an altitude of 60,000 kilometres (37,282 miles), and will begin orbiting Earth in elliptical orbits.

"For two days we will conduct several scientific experiments and deploy an Israeli flag for future generations that we hope may one day visit the moon", Harel explained.

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 incredible capabilities one can reach in civilian-space activity". Over the years, additional partners from the private sector, government companies and academia have joined, including Weizmann Institute of Science; Israel Space Agency; the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space; Bezeq and others.

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