Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Israeli SpaceIL Targets 2019 Moon Mission

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".

"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", said Kahn. The project employs private Israeli company SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries of the state.

According to SpaceIL, once the spacecraft disengages from the launch rocket, it will begin orbiting Earth in continuously larger elliptical orbits. "After the ship set an Israeli flag on the moon, he will take a picture of his environment and himself".

The project began when young engineers - Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub - chose to build a spacecraft and take part in the Lunar Xprize competition sponsored by Google, which originally included a $20 million prize for the first group of contestants 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 goal is in part to inspire young people in Israel to study science and join the country's space projects.

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SpaceIL's spacecraft is not only small - it measures 2 meters-by-1.5 meters and weighs 600 kilograms (1,323 pounds) - but also significantly less expensive than those usually launched into deep space. "When the rocket is launched into space, we will all remember where we were when we landed on the moon". The spacecraft is pegged to land on the moon's surface in 2019.

The collected data will be transmitted to IAI control room for the next two days after the landing.

SpaceIL has continued the moon landing project to serve as a source of inspiration and as fertile ground for a long-term impact on the next generation of scientists and engineers in Israel.

IAI has been a full partner in the project from its inception. "The State of Israel, which is already firmly planted in the realm of space in its military activity, must harness resources for the benefit of civilian space, which is an engine of innovation, technology, education and groundbreaking around the world".

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