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Israeli Lunar Lander Ready For Launch In 2019

The construction work of a lunar lander, privately funded, is complete and all set to launch with the onset of the New Year. The construction was started to participate in the Google Lunar X Prize competition. Though the competition is now dysfunctional, the endeavor resulted in the creation of a spectacular spacecraft.

The winning prize money was declared as $20 million to be given to the team that will make the spacecraft to land on the Moon and wander at least 500 meters on the surface while collecting data and images. The final lander, which weighs 600 kilograms, is ready to be shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida. It will house there till its launch in early 2019. This will be the secondary payload on the Falcon 9 mission of SpaceX. On the other hand, PSN-6 communications satellite will act as the primary payload. Recently, the nomenclature of the spacecraft was revised to Beresheet, which means Genesis in Hebrew.

In December 2017, a ceremony was organized at the Israel Aerospace Industries facility, in which the workers had installed an iconic element of the SpaceIL spacecraft, which is a digital time capsule comprising of 3 discs, loaded with information about Israel and the mission. The Chief Executive of SpaceIL, Ido Anteby stated that when these 3 discs, which are basically time capsules, will be inserted into the spacecraft, it will be ready to take off from the launching site.

The plan of the mission is to release the spacecraft into a supersynchronous transfer orbit after which it will utilize the self-propulsion to accomplish the travel to Moon. The total plan will take two months to complete and will be the first-ever non-governmental spacecraft to step on the natural satellite of Earth. SpaceIL relied on the philanthropic funding to complete the construction work.

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