Israel flying to moon after SpaceX launch

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

The mission began in earnest in 2009, when founders Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub registered for Google's Lunar X Prize - a moon race to build and land a commercial lunar spacecraft. The unmanned craft is set to launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday, attached to a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

People watch the launch of Israel's spacecraft Beresheet at the Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) in Israel's central town of Yahud on February 22, 2019.

A dramatic nighttime launch from Cape Canaveral sent Israel's privately funded lunar lander on its way to a rendezvous with history.

The unmanned craft, weighing 1,300 pound and standing about 1 metre tall and 2.3 metres wide will begin a almost seven-week journey to the Moon, and aims to touch down on Mare Serenitatis two months later. Spacecraft from several countries, including India's Moon Impact Probe, Japan's SELENE orbiter and a European Space Agency orbital probe called SMART 1, have intentionally crashed on the lunar surface. It is scheduled to reach the moon on April 4th and attempt a lunar landing on April 11th.

Succeed in the Mission, Israel would be the fourth country that can boast a successful landing on the moon (see info box below). There is a Falcon-9 rocket, the space travel company SpaceX, Tesla boss Elon Musk launched on time at 2.45 PM Central European time. While most Falcon 9 missions to geostationary transfer orbit carry just one satellite at a time, PSN sought co-passengers in order to lower the cost of launching its Nusantara Satu satellite, formerly known as PSN-6.

It is also carrying an Indonesian telecommunications satellite and an experimental US Air Force satellite. After all, the Apollo missions flew directly to the moon, landing less than a week after launch.

During its descent, the spacecraft will measure the Moon's magnetic field, potentially revealing new details about iron core deep below, reports The New York Times.

Both NASA and the Israeli Space Agency provided the mission with technological assistance. So far, this was only the United States, the Soviet Union and China. Despite the closing of the competition, SpaceIL continued with the project.

As CNN noted, the first hard landing on the moon came in 1959, when Russian Federation launched Luna 2, which crashed onto the moon; the USA followed with Ranger 4 in 1962. SpaceIL officials say that the data collected will help scientists learn more about the creation and evolution of the moon.

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