Israeli firm plans to land unmanned craft on moon in '19

Adjust Comment Print

Israel is planning to land a spacecraft on the moon in early 2019, scientists announced on Tuesday.

While famed entrepreneur Elon Musk sent one of his Tesla cars into space last year on top of his SpaceX rocket, this year, Musk will help deliver Israel's first unmanned lunar spacecraft atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, where it will assume a course that will take it to its final destination: the moon. And only the United States has managed to actually land a human on the lunar surface.

On July 10, SpaceIL gave the press its first look inside the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) MABAT Space facility in Yehud near Israel's airport, where the nonprofit organization has been collaborating with IAI for eight years to build the 1,322-pound (600-kilogram) spacecraft. "As soon as the spacecraft reaches the landing point it will be completely autonomous".

The 1.5 m (over 4.9 ft.) high spacecraft is 2 m (6.5 ft.) in diameter, and the carried fuel will weigh around 75 percent of its total weight, according to the report.

"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. In addition to Morris Kahn in the implementation of the project invested by the Israeli space Agency, and American billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

Damari recalled, "We found a duct and we started to discuss it."All three formed Spaceil and partnered with the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, which they believed they could get the very small craft on the moon by 2013.Damari said, "As soon as we went deep into the project and more people joined, we understood its complexity."Although Google ended in March without the award victor, the Israeli team promised to move forward.A key person to hop on the project board was the Israeli billionaire Maurice Cannes born of South Africa, who introduced his project to Spaceill.He said, "I thought it was a good idea", and I asked him - "do you have any money?' "Kahn said, "He did not really think about the financial side", he said that he gave him the initial grant of $ 100,000, which covered a project of 95 million U.S. dollars in a growing support to the project". Its maximum speed will reach more than 10 kilometers per second (36,000 kilometers, or almost 22,370 miles, per hour).

"What we're doing is we're trying to replicate the Apollo effect in the United States", Kahn told reporters, referring to the surge in interest in science and engineering after the USA space program landed on the moon in 1969. It will then ignite its engines and reduce its speed to allow the moon's gravity to pull it in, and will begin orbiting it.

Israel will launch a rocket to the moon in December. 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.