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article imageIsrael makes history with launch of Beresheet lunar spacecraft

By Karen Graham     Feb 21, 2019 in Technology
Friday morning at 3:45 a.m. Israel time marked the beginning of a new era for Israeli space research with the launch of the first Israeli spacecraft heading to the moon.
As Digital Journal noted on Tuesday, everything about Beresheet goes against tradition. It will be the smallest and least expensive spacecraft to eve land on the moon - and if the mission continues to go well, it will put Israel among the "superpowers, including the United States, Russia, and China - which have all had successful moon landings.
The unmanned Genesis spacecraft ("Beresheet” in Hebrew), built by a private non-profit group - SpaceIL in cooperation with Israel Aeronautics Industries, had a beautiful launch tonight at 8:45 p.m. Eastern Time from Cape Canaveral Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Shortly thereafter, the first stage of the Falcon 9 landed on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship.
Beresheet shared its ride with a communications satellite from Indonesia along with several other small satellites. At 9:20 p.m., SpaceX Tweeted that there was a "successful deployment of the SpaceIL lunar lander confirmed, starting the spacecraft’s two-month voyage to the Moon."
According to Haaretz, at a press conference this week, the president of SpaceIL, Morris Kahn, who donated $40 million of the $100 million cost of the spacecraft, said Genesis was presented as a gift to President Reuven Rivlin and declared a national project.
“We have been on this journey for eight years and it will be completed in two months, with the landing on the moon. We are making history and we are proud to be part of a group that has dreamed and realized the dream that many countries have had but only three have fulfilled,” Kahn said.
More about Beresheet, Israel, Lunar lander, Spacex, Falcon 9
 
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