The Space IL lunar spacecraft 'Beresheet'.
(photo credit: YAFIT OVADIA)
The first Israeli lunar spacecraft Beresheet - Genesis in English - was launched from the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 3:45 a.m. (Israel time) on Friday. Initial data was received from the spacecraft at 4:23 a.m. and the landing legs deployed soon after.
Aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the spacecraft will orbit the Earth after detaching from the launcher, and land on the moon around April 11. Communication between the spacecraft and the control room in Yehud is ongoing.
The spacecraft is the smallest such craft by weight – measuring only 1.5 m. by 2 m. at 600 kg. (around 1,300 lbs.) and costs only $100 million – compared to other larger and more expensive projects.
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