Israel is about to become the fourth nation to land on the moon

The spacecraft is expected to land on April 11th.

Israel is about to become the fourth nation to land on the moon 1
Photo Credit: SpaceIL

If all goes according to plan, Israel will soon become just the fourth country in the world to successfully land a probe on the moon.

The $100 million unmanned craft called Beresheet (Hebrew for Genesis) was developed by two private space companies using donations from Morris Khan, Sheldon Adelson, and other prominent Jewish philanthropists. At just 350-pounds, the spacecraft will become the smallest probe ever sent to the moon, and is expected to land in the Sea of Tranquility among the debris leftover after the Apollo missions.

Elon Musk’s Space X will carry Beresheet into orbit before the probe uses the Earth’s gravity to catapult itself to the moon. The spacecraft is expected to land on April 11th.

Despite its hefty, $100 million price tag, engineers expect Beresheet to be fully operational for only “two to three days before the sun’s rays are expected to melt parts of the communication system, ending the mission.“ However, it’s not uncommon for space probes to far outlive their mission duration. NASA’s Opportunity rover, for example, officially ended its mission just last week (Feb. 13) after outliving the agency’s stated duration by 5,262 sols – equal to roughly 15 Earth years.

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אמ;לק: רה"מ @b.netanyahu ביקש השבוע שיוכנס ספר תנ"ך לחללית "בראשית", אז אנחנו פה כדי לספר: התנ"ך בפנים, יחד עם עוד הרבה דברים אחרים, בהם מגילת העצמאות, דגל ישראל, מידע ותמונות מישראל וסמלים לאומיים נוספים. בנוסף, יש שירים וספרות ישראלית, ספרי מדע, תגליות ופיתוחים ישראלים שהשפיעו על העולם, מידע אינפו גראפי על מדינת ישראל, תיעוד המשימה מתחילתה, שרטוטים של החללית, מידע על העמותה שלנו ועוד המון המון מידע. בדצמבר האחרון הצגנו את כל הפריטים שנכנסנו לתוך "קפסולת הזמן" שתמריא עם "בראשית" לירח. #ישראלממריאהלירח #israeltothemoon @israel_aerospace_industries #ירח #2019 #moon #ישראל #ישראלממריאה

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During the less than 72-hours that it’s expected to operate, the team will use the probe to measure the moon’s magnetic fields. The companies behind the joint-venture say this mission is more about inspiring the next generation of Israeli engineers and scientists than collecting data. The team behind the project says they’re hoping a 1960s “Apollo effect” will sweep across the nation, which if successful, will be the smallest state to accomplish such a feat.

Source: Times of Israel / Photo: SpaceIL
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