The 180kg lander, called Beresheet, launched on a SpaceX Falcoln 9 rocket from Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. “After eight years of hard work, our dream has come true: We finally have a spacecraft,” said Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL.
The lander will take a long journey to the moon in ever increasing orbits, landing on 11th March. The company has six ground stations located in different places around the world to communication with the spacecraft on its way to the Moon, and after the landing, where SpaceIL will conduct a scientific experiment together with the Weizmann Institute of Science and UCLA to take measurements of the Moon's magnetic field using a magnetometer.
Since the establishment of SpaceIL for the Google X moon shot programme, the task of landing an Israeli spacecraft on the moon has become a national project, with educational impact, funded mainly by Morris Kahn, a businessman who took the lead in completing the mission, serving as SpaceIL’s president and backing the venture with $40m.
Additional donors include Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, whose $24 million contribution enabled the project to continue to be be first private system to land on the Moon.