(February 19, 2019 / JNS) Israel is scheduled to launch its initial mission to the moon on Thursday, which also represents the world’s first privately funded lunar voyage, announced Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on Monday.
The lunar spacecraft, called “Beresheet” (Hebrew for “In the Beginning,” also the first weekly portion in the Torah), will be aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 that will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
About a half-hour after launching, the lunar lander will separate from the SpaceX rocket at a little more than 37,282 miles above Earth’s surface and start a two-month journey to the Moon. A few minutes after disengaging from the rocket, Beresheet will then be in contact with the mission’s control center in the Israeli city of Yehud.
With this mission, Israel will join the United States, Russia and China in landing a spacecraft on the moon.