SpaceIL, and Israeli private space company, and its trading partner, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, announced that the spacecraft of the first Israeli mission to the Moon will be shipped to Florida in February. Israeli engineers finalized the details of Bereshit, which is also the first private Moon lander, and the take off is scheduled for February 2019.
The landing site will be between those of the NASA Apollo 15 missions of 1971 and Apollo 17 of 1972. If the mission is successful, Israel will be the fourth country to achieve a controlled landing of an uncrewed spacecraft, that after China became the third with its Chang’e landers.
“The spacecraft is completely built, tested, and will be ready to be sent to Cape Canaveral in a few weeks,” Ido Anteby, SpaceIL CEO, told Israel News.
Bereshit, which means Genesis in Hebrew, is a circle-shaped craft with four legs that are made of carbon fiber. Its structure measures 1.50 meters high and weighs 585 kilograms. The spacecraft is expected to take off from Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February, although the date has not yet been confirmed.
The First Israeli Mission To The Moon To Launch In February Aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9
On the day of its launch, Bereshit will make eight turns on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, orbiting the Earth until it reaches a sufficient speed of 11.11 kilometers per minute in its last orbit, which would allow it to enter the correct trajectory to meet with the Moon.
“It’s going to be a difficult and arduous journey to the Moon. We are doing it difficulty, there are direct ways to get to the Moon, you can put it in a big rocket and get there directly. We don’t have a big rocket, so we’ll go a long way,” explained Ofer Doron, manager of IAI’s space division.
“We’re going to put a time capsule inside the spacecraft with information about Israel and the planet,” added Yonatan Winetraub, one of the three founders of SpaceIL.
The time capsule would be a digital disc containing thousands of documents, history of humanity, history of Israel, and the personal photographs of the creators of this first Israeli mission to the Moon, plus the drawings, stories, and music made by Israeli children.
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