Monday, November 19, 2018 | ePaper

Israel plans first lunar space mission in December

  • Print


AFP, Yehud :
An Israeli organisation announced plans Tuesday to launch the country's first spacecraft to the moon in December, with hopes of burnishing Israel's reputation as a small nation with otherworldly high-tech ambitions.
The unmanned spacecraft, shaped like a pod and weighing some 585 kilogrammes (1,300 pounds) at launch, will land on the moon on February 13, 2019 if all goes according to plan, organisers SpaceIL told journalists.
It will be launched via a rocket from American entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX firm and its mission will include research on the moon's magnetic field.
Its first task however will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organisers said.
The project began as part of the Google Lunar XPrize, which offered $30 million (25 million euros) in prizes to encourage scientists and entrepreneurs to come up with relatively low-cost moon missions.
An Israeli team that later became known as SpaceIL decided to join the fray and eventually partnered with state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries.
The Google prize expired in March without a winner having reached the moon, but Israel's team pledged to push forward.
The private initiative is expected to cost some $95 million, largely supported by Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn.
"It's going to show the way for the rest of the world" to send a spacecraft to the moon at a reasonable cost, said IAI's Ofer Doron.

More News For this Category

US peace envoy hopes for deal with Taliban in 2019

US peace envoy hopes for deal with Taliban in 2019

Reuters, Kabul :The U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan hopes to cement a peace deal with Taliban insurgents by April 2019, local media reported on Sunday.The U.S. envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, who

Sri Lankan President seeks talks to end power struggle

Sri Lankan President seeks talks to end power struggle

AFP, Colombo :Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena on Sunday called crucial talks with political leaders in a bid to end a power struggle with the prime minister he sacked last

Macron's popularity falls to 25 pc: Poll

Macron's popularity falls to 25 pc: Poll

AFP, Paris :The popularity of French President Emmanuel Macron has dropped to just 25 percent, according to a major tracker poll published on Sunday.The poll by research group Ifop was

No ‘final conclusion’ on Khashoggi killing, say US

No ‘final conclusion’ on Khashoggi killing, say US

AFP, Washington  :The US government has not reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the State Department said Saturday following reports that the CIA had held the

Anti-IS coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria

Anti-IS coalition raids kill 43 in east Syria

AFP, Beirut :Air strikes by the US-led coalition Saturday killed 43 people, mostly civilians, in a holdout of the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, a Britain-based monitor said.Seventeen children

News In Brief

15,000 killed in Russian road accidents in 2018 so farTass, MoscowAbout 15,000 people have been killed in road accidents in Russia so far in 2018, Russia's General Administration for Traffic

US opposes UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of Golan Heights

US opposes UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of Golan Heights

AFP, United Nations :For the first time, the United States voted Friday against an annual UN resolution condemning Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights, dropping its practice of abstaining in

As China-US friction rises, their armies hold joint disaster drills

As China-US friction rises, their armies hold joint disaster drills

Reuters, Nanjing :Soldiers from China and the United States wrapped up a week of joint disaster relief drills on Saturday, in a display of cooperation against a backdrop of worsening

Cygnus cargo ship launches to ISS

AFP, United States :An unmanned Cygnus cargo ship blasted off Saturday toward the International Space Station, marking the second supply mission in 24 hours destined to carry food and supplies

US-China discord dominates APEC summit in Papua New Guinea

US-China discord dominates APEC summit in Papua New Guinea

Reuters, Port Moresby :The United States and China swapped barbs over trade, investment and regional security at an Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit on Saturday, as growing fault lines