Israel plans to launch moon mission on SpaceX rocket this year

CNET | 7/10/2018 | Amanda Kooser
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This Israeli spacecraft is expected to land on the moon in early 2019.

Three countries have landed missions on the moon: the US, Russia and China. Israel hopes to be the fourth when it launches a spacecraft this December with an assist from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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The unmanned mission is a joint effort between private company Israel Aerospace Industries and nonprofit organization SpaceIL. SpaceIL participated in the Google Lunar XPrize competition, which wrapped up earlier this year with no ultimate winner. The people at SpaceIL aren't letting that stop them from completing the lunar journey.

This illustration imagines what the spacecraft would look like on the moon.

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On Tuesday, the team announced its goal of a Feb. 13, 2019, moon landing, but it has yet to set a specific launch date in December. It will take about two months for the spacecraft to reach its destination after launch.

SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries have raised $88 million (£$66 million, AU$118 million) primarily from private donors to fund the project over the past eight years....
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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