Israel plans to launch Moon landing mission in December

Israel Set to Land Spacecraft on Moon in Historic First

Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries will launch its mission to the Moon by the end of this year, they announced yesterday. "I have experienced numerous challenges in my life, but this was the greatest challenge of all". SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries have raised $88 million so far, CNET reports. Its expected maximum speed could exceed 10 kilometers per second.

"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.

"As one who has personally brought the collaboration with SpaceIL to IAI, I regard the launch of the first Israeli spacecraft to the moon as an example of the wonderful capabilities one can reach in civilian space activity", he said.

Morris Kahn, South African-Israeli tycoon, owner of SpaceIL, who has given US$27 Mn to the project, was very enthusiastic: "The dispatch of the first Israeli airship will get pride for Israel, in the 70th year". The rocket will deliver the apparatus to a height of 60 thousand km, and it will be released on elliptical path around the Earth.

Its first task will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organizers said. It will then begin orbiting the moon, until the appropriate time to begin the landing process.

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Artist's illustration of SpaceIL's lander on the surface of the moon.

The probe, presented in the Israeli city of Yehud, will land on the lunar surface after a long journey during which it will orbit for about two months around the Earth. On the Moon, the ship will transmit the data in the IAI Control Center two days before its system is closed.

IAI has been a full partner in the project from its inception.

Although SpaceIL was initially founded by three young engineers to compete for Google's $20 million Lunar X Prize, the promise of landing an Israeli spacecraft on the moon has become something of a national educational beacon by inspiring the country's children to take up STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. "The State of Israel, which is as of now standing strong in the domain of space in its military action, must utilize assets for the advantage of non-military personnel space, which is an engine of development, innovation, and education all over the world".

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