Israel’s first Moon mission blasts off from Florida

Share
Israel’s first Moon mission blasts off from Florida

The Israeli spacecraft will be the smallest to land on the moon: a meter and a half high, two meters in diameter, carrying fuel that accounts for 75% of its weight; 600 kilograms. "Its mission is to transmit photos and video of its new home and conduct scientific measurements", said SpaceX.

The U.S. Air Force also has a small research spacecraft aboard the rocket, for a one-year mission in orbit around Earth. The 1,290-pound (585-kilogram) spacecraft was built by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with $100 million furnished nearly entirely by private donors.

US satellite manufacturer Space Systems Loral, a Maxar company, purchased the Falcon 9 launch on behalf of its customer Pasifik Satelit Nusantara, or PSN.

The landing sequence should take about 15 minutes - a delicate procedure that'll be monitored by a joint group from the Israel Space Agency, NASA and the Weizmann Institute of Science, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Once launched, the spacecraft will enter a gradually widening Earth orbit that will eventually bring the probe within the moon's gravitational pull, setting the stage for a series of additional maneuvers leading to an automated touchdown.

The Israeli craft was placed in Earth orbit, from where it will use its own engine to undertake a seven-week trip to reach the Moon and touch down on April 11 in a large plain. The first "soft landings" for both countries came in 1966, when spacecraft made controlled descents to the lunar surface. According to SpaceIL representatives, the mission's total cost, including the historic launch, is only $100 million. In addition to Kahn, Dr Miriam Adelson, an Israeli-American doctor and philanthropist, and her husband, casino magnate and investor Sheldon Adelson, contributed $US24 million to keep the lunar lander soaring.

"The problem with that is, it doesn't allow us to choose the orbit completely", says Yonathan Winetraub, one of the founders of SpaceIL.

The U.S. Apollo program tallied six manned missions to the moon - the only ones yet achieved - between 1969 and 1972, with about a dozen more robotic landings combined by the United States and Soviets.

SpaceX said it planned to land the first stage on a droneship, which will land in the Atlantic Ocean, following separation.

Beresheet is helping to blaze a trail for low-priced private space exploration.

But it will have just enough time to carry out its primary objectives: plant an Israeli flag on the moon, measure the moon's magnetic field, study surrounding lunar craters, and of course, take some epic lunar selfies.

Lunar surface operations are meant to last just two days. Up to this point, the moon has been a destination that only wealthy and powerful nations could reach.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Sri Lanka seamers keep second test v S Africa in the balance
After South Africa had scored 222 in their first innings, the Lankans could only muster 154 in their first essay. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis called the defeat "up there with the most disappointing" of his career.

ESPN Forecast Panel Confident Celtics Will Land Anthony Davis In Trade
Even with a win over Houston on Thursday, the Lakers are still three games back from the eighth seed in the Western Conference. Davis did not play when the Pelicans were beaten 109-107 at home by the Pacers on February 4.

Venezuela's Guaido defies travel ban as aid row turns deadly
The "Venezuela Live Aid" concert, which featured some of the biggest names in Spanish-language music, was broadcast live online. Socialist leader Maduro has rejected the aid, which he's dismissed as a show and pretext for a USA invasion.

Samsung Galaxy S10e leaked poster shows off the front and back design
This all-new device will be revealed at the firm's Unpacked event which is taking place in San Francisco and London from 7pm GMT. Like the Galaxy S9, it will have dual-edge display cascading into the right and left sides and meet at the middle of the frame.

Scientists Uncover New Reason for Zebras' Stripes
For reasons of clarity, the part of the horses dressed up in a "striped coat" and treated the secret of zebras to match odors. Therefore, it is unsurprising that zebras utilise both behavioural defences and morphological striping to avoid horse flies.

Virat Kohli: We will go by what government and BCCI decide
Pakistan has always offered India a peaceful resolution of the issues but Indians have always responded in negative", Miandad told APP.

Cargo jet crashes in Texas with 3 on board
Boeing said it was "deeply saddened to learn of the Atlas Air 767 freighter that crashed near Anahuac , TX, earlier today". Hawthorne told the Houston Chronicle late Saturday afternoon that police had found human remains at the site of the crash.

Kraft, Oscar Mayer Brands Take A Massive Hit As Tastes Shift
Now, if Kraft Heinz was banking on buying another company to feed its growth prospects, that avenue may not longer be available. Veritas Investment Management LLP acquired a new position in Kraft Heinz during the 4th quarter valued at about $28,000.

Trump officials meet with Chinese Vice Premier to talk trade agreement
To try to force China to change its ways, Trump has imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of USA dollars in Chinese goods. But the officials are still struggling on meeting each other's "core demands" that they were seeking to narrow.

Confronted on Camera: Kids Press Sen. Dianne Feinstein Over Green New Deal
She says to the group, "You know better than I do, so maybe one day you should run for the Senate and then you do it your way". I can't vote". "I've been in the Senate for over a quarter of a century and I know what can pass and I know what can't pass".

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.