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Israeli Spacecraft ‘Beresheet’ is On Its Way to the Moon

[additional-authors]
February 21, 2019
SpaceIL’s Beresheet spacecraft, with technicians and the company’s C.E.O., Ido Anteby, second left, in December. Ariel Schalit/Associated Press

Genesis is on its way to the moon. The Israeli spacecraft that is.

The lunar lander, Beresheet (Genesis in Hebrew) built by Israeli startup organization, SpaceIL, successfully launched abroad a SpaceX rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida Feb. 21.

If it successfully reaches and lands on the moon, Israel will become the fourth country ever — along with the Soviet Union, the United States and China — to land a spacecraft on the moon.

“After eight years of hard work, our dream has come true: We finally have a spacecraft,” SpaceIL CEO Ido Anteby said in a statement back in January. “Shipping the spacecraft to the United States is the first stage of a complicated and historic journey to the moon.”

After separating from the rocket, the SpaceIL craft, will travel around Earth in progressively larger orbits, eventually entering the moon’s orbit and touching down for a landing there. This is expected to take place on April 11.

“Once, it seemed imaginary; today this is reality,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in a video after the launch. “Beresheet landing on the moon is a giant step for all of Israel. This is a first-rate technological, scientific and and educational project.”

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