(JNS) [At press time] Israel was scheduled to launch its initial mission to the moon on Thursday, February 21, which also represents the world’s first privately funded lunar voyage, announced Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
The lunar spacecraft, called “Beresheet,” will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 that will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. About a half-hour after launching, the lunar lander will separate from the rocket and start a two-month journey to the moon. A few minutes after disengaging from the rocket, Beresheet will then be in contact with the mission’s control center in the Israeli city of Yehud.
With this mission, Israel will join the United States, Russia and China in landing a spacecraft on the moon.