Israel announces unmanned moon mission for later this year

While famed entrepreneur Elon Musk sent one of his Tesla cars into space last year on top of his SpaceX rocket, this year, Musk will help deliver Israel's first unmanned lunar spacecraft atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, where it will assume a course that will take it to its final destination: the moon. The project employs private Israeli company SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries of the state. We have a robot spacecraft - it's two of the three."When you meet school children and tell them about the project, you can see the spark in their eyes". Only Russia, China and the United States have managed to conquer the Moon and wave their flag on Earth's lone natural satellite's.

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.

SpaceIL is backed by a number of donors, including US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the Schusterman Family Foundation and South African-born billionaire entrepreneur Morris Kahn. The Israeli craft will be the smallest to land on the moon, weighing only 1,322 pounds or 600 kilograms. Its expected maximum speed could exceed 10 kilometers per second.

An Israeli organisation announced plans today to launch the country's first spacecraft to the moon in December, with hopes of burnishing Israel's reputation as a small nation with otherworldly high-tech ambitions.

"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.

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Israel is set to created history with a lunar landing mission scheduled for February 13, 2019.

The aim of the mission is not only to put an Israeli spacecraft on the moon, but to inspire a future generation of Israelis to pursue careers in math, science and engineering, said Joseph Weiss, IAI's president and chief executive and a founder of Israeli communications and media technology developer Amdocs Ltd.

According to SpaceIL, once the spacecraft disengages from the launch rocket, it will begin orbiting Earth in continuously larger elliptical orbits.

No government has landed a craft on the moon since the 1970s, but interest has revived recently.

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