The first Israeli spacecraft planned to land on the Moon will be launched in December 2018 and land on the moon two months later, in mid-February.
Israeli space exploration firm SpaceIL, together with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), will launch a spacecraft aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and if all goes well, the landing will give Israel entry into the exclusive club of just three nations that have so far achieved a controlled landing on the moon’s surface.
“We will all remember where we were when Israel landed on the moon,” Morris Kahn, one of the project’s leaders, said announcing the mission.
The spacecraft will be the smallest to ever land on the moon. Its mission will include research on the moon’s magnetic field. Its first task however will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organizers said.
Another goal of the project is to create an “Apollo Effect” in Israel, referring to the enthusiasm that began in the United States that encouraged scientific research after the first Apollo Moon landing in 1969, said billionaire businessman Morris Kahn, who provided the major part of the funding for SpaceIL.