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Israel set to launch world's first privately funded mission to the moon

08 May 2019

Beresheet was one of only three payloads to be carried aloft by the SpaceX rocket. That makes for a much longer trip; the moon right now is almost 230,000 miles (370,000km) away.

SpaceIL, the nonprofit organization behind the effort, participated in the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered a $30 million reward for a privately funded team to land an automated spacecraft.

The 1,290-pound (585 kg), dishwasher-sized lander was built by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defence contractor Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) with $100 million (roughly Rs. 710 crores) furnished nearly entirely by private donors.

Space travel is going the way of Uber and the sharing economy, with worldwide space agencies looking to cut costs by using "ride shares" to hitchhike into space on existing commercial launches. Additionally, onboard shall be an experimental navy satellite tv for pc referred to like the S5, which SpaceX will launch for the U.S. Air Pressure Analysis Laboratory.

The Soviet Union was the first to put a spacecraft on the moon, Luna 2, in 1959. China made history in January with its Chang'e 4, the first to touch down on the dark side of the moon.

Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin quickly offered congratulations following Thursday's launch. "This is a historic step for all nations and commercial space as we look to extend our collaborations beyond low-Earth orbit and on to the Moon". NASA has a laser reflector aboard Beresheet and is offering its Deep Space Network for communication. The organisers chose to press ahead on their own, with donations from billionaires as well as schoolchildren.

Americans are the only ones to have walked on the lunar surface, but have not been there since 1972.

The Beresheet spacecraft will measure magnetic fields on the moon, data which will be transferred to the Weizmann Institute to help scientists study how the moon was formed billions of years ago.

Ramon's widow, Rona, was a big supporter of Beresheet; she died of cancer in December. The booster used in today's launch had been recovered twice before making it the second ever to be recovered three times.

The Falcon 9 was on its third flight having launched the Iridium-7 mission in July 2018 and the SAOCOM 1A mission the following October. The booster landed smoothly on an offshore ocean platform, after the hottest re-entry yet, according to SpaceX founder and chief executive Musk. No one will be aboard.

Israel set to launch world's first privately funded mission to the moon