Israel Aerospace Industries and the nonprofit SpaceIL announced Tuesday that they plan a December launch from Cape Canaveral to land on the moon on February 13. The 1,289-pound landing craft will piggyback on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to enter Earth's orbit, then slingshot around the planet several times to reach the moon.
"This is a small and smart vehicle, said at a press conference, IDO, Antabi of SpaceIL". The spacecraft is pegged to land on the moon's surface in 2019.
Much of the funding has been provided by Israeli billionaire and SpaceIL president Morris Kahn, and $88.5m in total has been spent on the project to date.
The spacecraft's journey to the moon will last about two months.
"After eight challenging years, I am filled with pride that the first Israeli spacecraft, which is in its final construction and testing phases, will soon be making its way to the moon", Kahn said.
That 20 Million competition challenged the private companies to try to land an unmanned spacecraft on the moon.
Israeli billionaire philanthropist and SpaceIL President Morris Kahn, who donated around $27 million to the project, told reporters that its objective is in part to inspire young people in Israel to study science and join the country's space projects.
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Its first task will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organizers said.
Other countries have been successful in crushing scientific investigations into the surface.But only the United States has landed people on the moon.
The maximum speed expected to reach is over 10 km per second (36,000 kilometers, or almost 22,370 miles, per hour), the report adds.
SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit, has announced plans to send the first privately funded unmanned spacecraft to the moon.
News Brief: SpaceIL, an Israeli team that was once a competitor in the now-defunct Google Lunar X Prize, says it will have its lander launched toward the moon in December.
According to SpaceIL, once the spacecraft disengages from the launch rocket, it will begin orbiting Earth in continuously larger elliptical orbits. When it reaches the right altitude, it will ignite its engines and reduce its speed to allow the moon's gravity to capture it. 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.