SpaceX Falcon 9 blasts off carrying Israel’s first commercial moon mission

SpaceX Is Launching Israel's First Mission to the Moon Tonight

On Friday, NASA is expected to decide whether to give its final go-ahead to SpaceX for a first, unmanned test flight on March 2 of a new capsule the company designed for carrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station. This major liftoff, which will take place at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 8:45 p.m. EST, will begin Israel's first eight-week journey to the moon.

"Beresheet is the first spacecraft to land on the Moon as a result of a private initiative, rather than a government". In the case of a successful landing Beresheet would be the first privately funded spacecraft that reached the surface of another celestial body.

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Lindsey Graham , one of the most vocal critics of the plan, praised Trump's decision on maintaining a peacekeeping force there. The SDF is now involved in a standoff over the final sliver of land held by ISIS in eastern Syria, close to the Iraq border.

The spacecraft will slingshot around Earth for about six weeks, firing thrusters to stretch out its orbit with every pass until it can be captured by the moon's gravity. The $100 million mission is headed by SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization based in Israel.

"This time, when we go to the Moon, we're actually going to stay", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said last week. The proportion of flight-proven to new booster launches is likely to continue to grow in 2019, ultimately reaching a point where new boosters are limited to inaugural hardware debuts or specific contractual requests from conservative USA government customers. During this time Beresheet will be taking the moon's surface photos while measuring its magnetic field as well. It carries a magnetometer, so it can measure magnetism in its landing area in Mare Serenitatis, a visible region on the lunar near side.

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Those attending include President Ivan Duque , while Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was expected to arrive later. Moscow has blasted Washington for using aid as a "convenient pretext for conducting military action".

Beresheet (Hebrew for "in the beginning") was put together by non-profit outfit SpaceIL to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE. Since then there have been other missions, where the devices landed on the moon - such as the Chinese lunar vehicle "Yutu". Beresheet also carries a mirror created to reflect laser lights from the moon to earth, enabling researchers to precisely measure the distance between the moon and the earth. "If they can understand that, and if they can meet engineers and hear their story and see that they come from all different kinds of backgrounds, they can understand that they themselves can be those who will build the next spacecraft".

The company's self-described vision is to "advance the discourse on science and engineering in Israel and to acquaint the young generation with the exciting opportunities in their future, which STEM studies make possible".

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