Monday , December 6 2021

Israel's spacecraft receives special passengers before the moon's journey


Israel's researchers who make the last preparations for launching the country's first spacecraft until the moon added a special passenger on Monday that will accompany the trip.

A time capsule of three digital discs containing thousands of files was placed ceremonially in space protection by organizers wearing white dust layers at the factory where it is designed and tested.

They featured drawings of children, images of Israeli symbols such as the flag, Israeli songs and a booklet written by a Jewish man of his personal account of the Holocaust.

One of the founders of the ideological organization behind the launch SpaceIL compared the time capsule with prayers written on paper pieces worshiped in Jerusalem's western wall, one of the holiest places in Judaism.

"Today we put all the dreams on the spacecraft as if you were going to take a note and put it in Kotel and wish for a bright future," said Yonatan Winetraub, using the Hebrew word for the West Wall.

The spacecraft weighing about 585kg (1,300 pounds) is expected to be launched in the coming months, even if an exact date has not been established. Organizers hope in February.

It will be sent via a Falcon 9 rocket from the American entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX company and will take about one and a half months to arrive.

The launch is from Cape Canaveral in the United States.

The cost of the project is approximately $ 95 million (EUR 84 million or about SEK 680), with private philanthropists providing funding. SpaceIL has also collaborated with state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, among the country's largest defense companies.

"Budget of almost $ 10 million"
The organizers say that if it succeeds, it will not only be Israel's first spacecraft to land on the moon, but also the first private. Israel would be the fourth country to land on the moon.

It's called Beresheet, or Genesis in Hebrew, a name chosen by the public, and resembles a large, weird format table with round fuel tanks under the top.

It will measure the magnetic field as part of the effort to investigate how the moon was formed. The data will be shared with the US Space Agency NASA.

"I've seen hundreds of kids watching the spacecraft and you look in the eyes they say," Wow, if a small country can do this maybe a little old i can do almost anything, "says Opher Doron, head of IAI Space Sharing .

The project started as part of Google Lunar XPrize, which in 2010 offered $ 30 million in awards to encourage researchers and entrepreneurs to arrive at relatively inexpensive groups.

Although the Google Prize expired in March without a winner reaching the moon, Israel promised to push forward.

Question about the project so far had gone as planned, SpaceIL founder Yariv Bash said "hell no".

"When we started, we thought it would be a two-year project, the budget would be less than $ 10 million, and the spacecraft will weigh less than five kilograms," he said.

"And here we are eight years later with a project with a budget of almost $ 100 million."

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