Thursday, February 21, 2019

Israel: Sends Rocket to the Moon

(Jerusalem)  Israel is hoping to become the 4th Nation to send a spacecraft to the moon with the launching of the Beresheet robotic lunar lander. But what makes this mission different from all the rest is:

  • It is privately funded as opposed to state funded
  • It has piggybacked onto another launch in which to get into Space
SpaceIL the company behind this endeavour is an Israeli organization, established in 2011, in which to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP) which was a competition to see a privately funded spacecraft land on the Moon. After the contest declared no winner, SpaceIL decided to continue with the project resulting in them paying Space X to allow them to piggyback the finished Beresheet lander onto one of its flights into Space.

Once Beresheet is in Earth orbit and separated from the Falcon 9 launcher, it will undergo several orbits around Earth, taking around 2.5 months before it reaches the Moon's area of influence. Once there,it will attempt to be captured by the Moons gravity placing it into a lunar orbit where upon  it will decelerate until for a landing on the lunar surface.

If all goes according to plan, the 5-foot-tall (1.5 meters) Beresheet — whose name means "in the beginning" in Hebrew — will land on the moon on April 11. Onboard will be an Israeli flag, a time capsule, which includes a "Lunar Library." -The library is a project of the nonprofit Arch Mission Foundation, which seeks to archive human knowledge for millions or billions of years. The Lunar Library will carry, among other things, the entirety of the English-language version of Wikipedia and keys to 5,000 languages, -The lander will study craters and the local magnetic field (unlike Earth, the moon doesn't have a global magnetic field) during its lunar approach and two-Earth-day surface mission. But the main goal is to inspire young people around the world, especially those in Israel.