Selfie-Taking Israeli Spacecraft to Take Off to the Moon This Week
The Israeli spacecraft is expected to land on the moon on April 11, two days after Israelis will head to the polls for the country’s general elections
Once landed on the moon, the spacecraft will begin taking photographs of the landing site, including a selfie.
Beresheet will be launched from the Cape Canaveral launch site. About 32 minutes later, the spacecraft will separate from the launcher and preliminary indications from the spacecraft will be sent to the control room located in Yehud, Israel.
Beresheet was developed and constructed at a cost of only $100 million, according to IAI’s statements.
NASA has installed a laser retroreflector on the spacecraft and will assist in communicating with the spacecraft when it lands on the moon.
The spacecraft weighs 600 kilograms, 75% of which is made up from the fuel it carries. Its maximum speed will reach 10 km per second.
SpaceIL was established in 2011 to compete in Google’s 10-year space race competition Lunar X Prize. After no team was able to achieve the required goals within the time frame set, the competition ended with no winners in January.
The nonprofit announced it would continue with its mission to land the first Israeli-made unmanned spacecraft on the moon.
The spacecraft will carry a time capsule to be left on the moon for an indefinite amount of time. The time capsule consists of three discs, each containing hundreds of digital files on topics including Israel’s Declaration of Independence, paintings by Israeli children and dictionaries in 27 languages.