Launch successful: Israel becomes fourth country to launch mission to the moon

February 22, 2019 by JNS
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Israel has become the first to launch a privately funded mission to the moon, in addition to becoming the fourth country to launch a lunar spacecraft.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Feb. 21, 2019. Credit: Screenshot.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Aboard it is the spacecraft, called “Beresheet” (Hebrew for “In the Beginning,” the first weekly portion in the Torah).

At 9:45 p.m. Eastern Standard time on Thursday, the lunar lander will separate from the SpaceX rocket at a little more than 37,282 miles above Earth’s surface 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.

Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 was one of the first two people to walk on the moon, congratulated SpaceX on the launch, having earlier wished good luck to Israel on landing the spacecraft on the moon.

If the #SpaceIL mission is successful this Thursday, Israel will become the fourth country to land an aircraft on the moon. Good luck, Beresheet!???? https://t.co/aO5R50eaKY

— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) February 20, 2019

Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969 was one of the first two people to walk on the moon, congratulated SpaceX on the launch, having earlier wished good luck to Israel on landing the spacecraft on the moon.

 

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke after the launch: “Each one of you, like me, will remember this movement because being first is once-in-a-lifetime. The real fuel of this spacecraft is the Israeli audacity and the Israeli genius. There are many audacious geniuses here, and congratulations to you. We are simply moved and now I know what I need to do in the next 60 days.

Benjamin Netanyahu at the central control unit: photo credit: Kobi Gideon (GPO)

This is a very proud moment. True, along with China, Russia and the US, we constitute about one-third of the world’s population, but our contribution is vast, regardless of our small size. We are giants.

What I see here at Israel Aerospace Industries, together with Space.il, and the entrepreneurs and leaders of the project, together with you Morris, is extraordinary spirit and enthusiasm.

What there is here is far beyond the money and – I think – even more than the technology. There is great inspiration and daring here, and as of now great success as well. We look at the clock, another 60 days or so. We will meet on April 11 and I hope that we will be able to celebrate the safe landing of ‘Beresheet’.

Am Yisrael chai.”

 

JNS/J-Wire

Comments

One Response to “Launch successful: Israel becomes fourth country to launch mission to the moon”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    First the USA and USSR on the 1960/70’s, recently China and now Israel. Technically interesting but like with the USA and USSR missions the novelty will wear off. However what is the point of these missions to Luna (Earth’s moons correct name) as there is nothing there, not even an atmosphere that humans and animals can breath.

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