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Israeli moon mission SpaceIL to launch in SpaceX rocket

SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Elon Musk, will soon launch the first private lunar lander.

If the mission of the moon succeeds, the effort will have the eternal significance of Israel and the country's space industry. But if everything works as planned, Israel will be the fourth country coming over the moon. (Japan, India, and Europe collapsed on probes over the month but did not gently put any robots.)

The $ 100 million mission is led by a nonprofit called SpaceIL (the "IL "in the name represents" Israel "), designed and built by a 1,300-pound robotic spacecraft called" Beresheet. " That is Hebrew for "the beginning," which is the first phrase in Genesis in the Bible.

Beresheet ̵

1; with cameras, magnetic sensors, and transmitters to deliver data to and from Earth – is now awaiting the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The SpaceX rocket must be lifted on Thursday night at 8:45 p.m. EST, preventing technical glitches and bad weather. (The US Air Force predicts an 80% chance of Wednesday's launch.)

Morris Kahn, a businessman and billionaire born in South Africa who lives in Israel, is the largest provider of spaceIL missions. In an interview with Business Insider, Kahn said he has a shoulder about $ 43 million of $ 100 million spent on development and launching the SpaceX rocket.

"I wanted to show that Israel – this small country with a population of about 6 or 8 million people – could do a job that only made three major powers in the world: Russia, China, and the United States , "Kahn says. "Will Israel be able to change and actually achieve this goal with a smaller budget, and being a smaller country, and there is not a large industry space that it continues?"

This week, the world will discover.

& # 39; No money, you will not get anywhere & # 39;

A description of the robot of the monthly Beresheet of SpaceIL to expand from a rocket above the Earth.

[19659002] In early 2011, Kahn attended an international space conference in Israel, where the presentation of three young engineers – Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari, and Yonatan Winetraub-took note. "They said they would participate in Google's competition. It was a competition at XPrize to put a spacecraft on the moon and win a $ 20 million prize," Kahn says. "They seemed to be proud of themselves, and I thought it was pretty well." This competition is Google Lunar XPRIZE, which began in September 2007. It has hooked tens of millions of dollars in prize money with the hope of spur a private company to land a robot on the moon in 2014.

After the presentation of SpaceIL, Kahn – who at that time had a net worth close to $ 1 billion – asked the group leaders if they had money.

"They said, & # 39; Money? Money, what is that? & # 39; I said, & # 39; No money, you can not get anywhere, & # 39;" Kahn says. "I told them, & # 39; Here, go to my office, I'll give you $ 100,000 – no questions asked – and you can start. & # 39; And that's how I was innocent involved in massive this project. "

Kahn said that" the project really started to cry out "in advance, so he requested a budget. The team returned with an estimated $ 8 million for research, development, and testing, and about $ 5 million for a rocket launch – "too much money," Kahn says. But he initially agreed to pay for rocket launch.

"I do not want to be the richest man in the cemetery. I want to feel that I used my money fruitful," Kahn says. "I also want to see that I used it in a way that I enjoy. I'm happy with this process."

Israel officials looked at a Spacecraft model of the SpaceIL of Beresheet.
Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

Over time, organizers of Google Lunar XPrize continue to push the 2014 deadline of the contest. But the competition was late on shutter in January 2018 without a winner.

However, SpaceIL wants to move in early, and Kahn keeps the money.

"Slowly, I sucked this project and I have no idea where to take it," Kahn says. "Now I know that it has taken us about $ 100 million. That is a huge amount of money."

He also helped fundraising from other sources, including nearly $ 2 million from the Israeli government. Kahn said that raising money was not easy, but he appealed to Israel's national pride.

"Setting up a spacecraft on the moon is a little bit of a kind of a strange project," Kahn says. "It's almost impossible, and even if it can be done, someone needs imagination to see why you're going to do it."

Read more : The first landings of NASA for almost 50 years can happen in 2019. The agency thinks that 9 companies can get it over the moon. [19456519]

However, $ 100 million is a compared to the $ 469 million spent by NASA in the 1960s on seven similar measurements of the Surveyor's Lander. When adjusted for inflation, that amount is almost $ 3.5 billion now – nearly $ 500 million per mission.

How SpaceIL will use SpaceX to land on the moon

Es-hail-2 mission is launched into space on one of the Falcon 9 SpaceX Rockets on November 15, 2018.
SpaceX / Flickr (public domain)

The moon is about 239,000 miles away from Earth, but the biggest challenge to getting there is harnessing enough energy to climb out of the gravity our planet field. For example, sending three astronauts of Apollo, a small space capsule, and a two-year lunar lander vehicle require a 36-level Saturn V rocket filled with millions of pounds of gasoline. To achieve a landing month on a tight budget, SpaceIL claims the robot "is the smallest spacecraft to land in the month to date." Beresheet is shy at only 5 feet tall when it is hidden in the launching position, making it easy to pull on a rocket. Because the aircraft was built to be light, it did not have a cooling system and was so excessive in the heat of the month after three days.

Robots also cut costs by not launching alone. Instead it is "piggyback" in space with a larger payload: an Indonesian satellite communication called "Nusantara Satu" or PSN 6.

At the end of SpaceX, the plan will launch the same spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket with twice-The use of followers. The launch of the modified follower for the third time can replace millions of SpaceX (if not tens of millions) dollars.

Read more : Elon Musk has succeeded in a world record for rocket launches in 2018. Here is every SpaceX mission in making the year.

SpaceIL is denied to share how much it actually pays for launch. But pricing tables from the company managing rocket-sharing, called Spaceflight Industries, suggest that the launch of Beresheet may cost about $ 22.5 million – lower than the $ list price 62 million of an exclusive ride to a Falcon 9.

Beresheet's weight and launch price, SpaceIL also selected about 2.5 months of ride from launch to landing. (By comparison, the Apollo astronauts took only four days after launching the land of the moon.)

"As soon as it boils off the launch rocket, the spacecraft will start the orbiting Earth with continuously larger elliptical orbits , ultimately covering the total distance of 9 million kilometers [5.6 million miles] "says SpaceIL. "This long and complex course is chosen because it will allow completion of the month's journey with minimal fuel consumption."

About 75% of the Beresheet mass is made up of gasoline, which will release it in the orbit of the moon – a trip that takes the probe about six weeks. When the gravity of the moon gets the robot around April 4, it will shrink its orbit next week.

The final burning of the Beresheet rocket engine on April 11 will drop it over the moon in about 15 minutes. The probe will navigate its lunar landing using independent software and a computer about as powerful as a smartphone. A set of 3D print legs will remove the last 16 feet of its free-fall. "The spacecraft will use different sensors to measure the location and height associated with the moon's surface," says SpaceIL. "The earth team does not interfere during the landing process."

During its landing and after landing, the lander must record videos and wide-ranging photos while placing footage in the control room at Israel Aerospace Industries in Yehud.

"It is possible to operate all spacecraft systems from this control room," says SpaceIL.

What will be the first private lunar lander on the moon

The "Beresheet" lunar robot designed and built by SpaceIL. If this land is successful, the robot can make Israel's fourth land weak on the surface of the moon.

The planned landing site for Beresheet is the Mare Serenitatis, or the "Sea of ​​Serenity," in the northern hemisphere of the moon. It is a dark lava-covered site of an ancient volcanic eruption. The area is also a source of magnetic and gravitational anomalies, and – in popular culture – to the left of "man in the moon."

Until this overheats, Beresheet will perform the magnitude of the magnetic field of the month there with an instrument provided by the University of California, Los Angeles. SpaceIL plans to share the data it collects in NASA and other space agencies.

Read more : Americans of moon flag disintegrates

Kahn says that scientific missions do not matter what the statement of Beresheet, true to the meaning of its name.

"This project of us will have a deep space in Israel, and I think it's a new frontier and we really do – it's the first non-business project that goes to the moon," Kahn says. "I think others will follow us. In fact, I'm sure some of us will follow."

Retired NASA astronaut Scott Parazynski also sees the mission as stepping stone in the greater future for the space industry of Israel.

"Israel is an incredible electric power plant, and I think it is notable today, non-spacesome countries that are frightening – in other words, those who have no capacity to launch their own astronauts – can now be made to launch major payloads like this, "said Parazynski Business Insider. "Perhaps in the distant future, they can also launch their own astronauts."

Kahn said that with "no guarantees" the mission would succeed – "It takes a little glitch and we really fly in space and lose control," he added.

But even if it fails, he thinks that the "effect of Apollo" encouraging young Israelis to dream big about their futures in science and engineering is a success.

"We really got over one million young students and we were happy about them about space," Kahn says. "My goal, I think, we've really got it."

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