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First private Israeli lunar mission will launch in February

The landing craft will ship in February to Florida, where, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon

December 17, 2018  by The Associated Press

YEHUD, Israel—An Israeli non-profit says it has pushed back the launch of what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon.

Officials from SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters Monday that the landing craft, dubbed Beresheet, or Genesis, will ship in February to Florida, where, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon. It had been slated to launch this month.

Israel Aerospace Industries manager Opher Doron stressed that the small craft, roughly the size of a washing machine, faces a “difficult, arduous journey” because it will have to make a number of orbits before landing.

If successful, the team promises the landing will be a breakthrough for Israeli technology and commercial space travel.

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