Israel is set to become the fourth country to send a spaceship to the moon. As it was announced by non-profit SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., the Middle East country will launch its mission in December with the goal to land on the moon.
Elon Musk’s rocket will carry the Israeli spacecraft into space
The spaceship that Israel will send on a two-month expedition is going to be launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Costing around 88 million dollars, the spacecraft will be taken into space on a Falcon 9, a rocket developed by the Space Exploration Technologies Corp., owned by Elon Musk. Weighing 600 kg, this unmanned space vehicle will be the smallest ever to reach the surface of the moon.
Spacecraft’s low cost could set a precedent for the future
According to the experts, in case everything goes according to plan, the low cost of the spacecraft developed by SpaceIL could set a standard for future missions. The spaceship is 1.5 meters high, with the diameter of 2 meters. Its expected maximum speed could exceed 10 kilometers per second. Out of 600 kilograms of the initial weight, the fuel will comprise 420 kilograms, leaving only 180 kilograms for the weight of the spacecraft on landing. Considering the smaller size and fuel capacity, the vehicle will not take a direct route towards the moon, which lasts four days, but instead will orbit the Earth to reach its destination.
Once the craft lands on the moon, it will photograph and film the area surrounding the landing site, as well as measure the magnetic field of Earth’s satellite.
According to the officials from IAI, Israel is aiming to extend its existing military activity in space to a civilian one, contributing to the development of technology, education and innovation around the world.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca