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SpaceIL Moon Launch

Israel to launch country’s first space mission to the moon

The Jewish state will launch its initial mission to the moon on Feb. 21, also representing the world’s first privately funded lunar voyage.

The first Israeli lunar spacecraft (covered, at left), named “Beresheet,” was loaded into a special shipping container on Jan. 17, 2019 in Israel to be flown to Florida ahead of SpaceIL’s historic mission to the moon on Feb. 21, 2019. Photo by Tomer Levi.
The first Israeli lunar spacecraft (covered, at left), named “Beresheet,” was loaded into a special shipping container on Jan. 17, 2019 in Israel to be flown to Florida ahead of SpaceIL’s historic mission to the moon on Feb. 21, 2019. Photo by Tomer Levi.

They’ll have liftoff.

At 8:45 p.m. Eastern Standard time on Thursday, Israel will launch its initial mission to the moon, which also represents the world’s first privately funded lunar voyage.

The lunar spacecraft, called “Beresheet” (Hebrew for “In the Beginning,” 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.

Watch the liftoff here.

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