The Israeli unmanned spacecraft SpaceIL will launch by the end of this year and will head towards the Moon where it will arrive in February 2019, according to the mission’s managers who held a press conference earlier today. The SpaceIL mission is the first of its kind for Israel.
Israeli SpaceIL mission to the Moon will put Israel on the exclusivist list of the countries who landed on the Moon, namely, the US, Russia (Soviet Union), and China. Others, including Japan’s JAXA and the ESA, have also sent missions to the Moon but without landing on the lunar surface.
The Israeli mission will take off with a SpaceX Falcon 9, so the launch is scheduled to take place from the US by the end of this year. However, the probe will land on the Moon in February 2019. “We will put the Israeli flag on the moon,” asserted Ido Anteby, SpaceIL CEO.
SpaceIL mission to the Moon is a very significant project for Israel
“As soon as the spacecraft reaches the landing point it will be completely autonomous. The motor will break the craft, and it will reach the ground at zero speed for a soft landing,” added Anteby.
SpaceIL has the mission to explore the Moon’s magnetic field, a study which was set up and will be conducted by the Weizmann Institute of Science and will take only 48 hours. Also, this Israeli mission to the Moon is an extraordinary event for Israel and, mainly, for the Israelian science community.
“This is a tremendous project. When the rocket is launched into space, we will all remember where we were when Israel landed on the moon,” stated Moris Khan, the primary investor in the SpaceIL mission.
The SpaceIL probe, a 2-meter wide and 1.5-meter tall spacecraft, weighs only 600 kilograms making it the smallest space probe to land on the Moon ever.