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First Israeli spacecraft to land on moon next year

13 July 2018

Israeli space exploration firm SpaceIL, together with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), will launch a spacecraft into orbit via a SpaceX rocket in December, which they intend to land on the moon in February 2019.

Israel announced Tuesday that it will launch its first lunar mission in December 2018, hoping to become the fourth country to land on the moon, following the U.S., Russian Federation and China.

SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby revealed the spacecraft's course to the moon during the press event. "It's about showing the next generation that anything is possible - that even our small country can push the limits of imagination".

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Would SpaceIL mission will be successful Israel, in some way, will became the fourth nation to ever land on the Moon. In total, the project has cost around $95 million to date, with much of this covered by South African-born Israeli billionaire and entrepreneur Morris Kahn. If the December launch goes well, the Israeli flag may grace the Moon by next February.

Approximately $88 million was invested in the spacecraft's development and construction.

The private initiative is expected to cost some United States dollars 95 million, largely supported by Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn.

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"The launch of the first Israeli spacecraft will fill Israel, on its 70th year of birth, with pride". He had experienced numerous challenges in his life, but this was the greatest challenge of all. Once the mission is accomplished, the developer said the spacecraft will remain on the moon as a "symbol of Israeli success".

SpaceIL participated in the Google Lunar XPrize competition, which wrapped up earlier this year with no ultimate victor. Construction began at the IAI MABAT Plant a year ago. The spacecraft has four carbon fiber legs and fuel takes up two-thirds of its weight. It has only two meters in diameter and is half a meter high. Its maximum speed will reach more than 10 kilometers per second (36,000 kilometers, or almost 22,370 miles, per hour). It will begin orbiting Earth on an elliptical path.

The research, conducted in cooperation with scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, will use a magnetometer on the spacecraft to attempt to understand how the rocks on the moon received their magnetism. At this point, it will ignite its engines and reduce its speed to allow the moon's gravity to capture it. These were the words quoted when Neil Armstrong from the US stepped on Moon for the first time. This process will be executed autonomously by the spacecraft's navigation control system.

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First Israeli spacecraft to land on moon next year