Israel to launch spacecraft to the moon

While the Islamic Republic of Iran boasts in its ballistic missiles program and continues to fail satellite-launches into orbit; The state of Israel announced that within two weeks it will launch a space-craft to the moon for the first time in its history. During this week’s cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the anticipate launch to be a source of “great pride” for the Jewish state. In his words, “This week we will mark international space week. I have just seen a model of the Beresheet (Exodus) space-craft that will be launched to the moon, and I hope that we will also land it on the moon. This will, of course, be great pride for Israel.” Israeli Minister of Technology and Science Ofir Akunis underscored the significance of landing a space-craft on the moon, indicating that only three countries have managed to do so, thus far: including the United States, Russia and China. Minister Akunis further noted that “In about two weeks, more or less, in the second half of February, the first Israeli space mission will be launched into space. “SPACE IL,” or my personal favorite – its Israeli name is “Beresheet.”

Until now, only three countries have landed on the moon; the Soviet Union (Russia), the United States and China- not small countries from an international standpoint. In my opinion, Mr. Prime Minister, we are aiming at an event of national scale. Launching as a first stage in more or less two months, and with God’s help also landing in mid-April.” It is important to note that the anticipated launch of the “Beresheet” space-craft came as part of a venture by the non-profit organization, SpaceIL, which was founded in 2011, after three young Israeli engineers answered an international challenge that was presented by Google’s Lunar XPRIZE:  to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. SpaceIL was the only Israeli representative in the challenge, and in 2015 it was the first team to announce a signed launch contract, that symbolizes an actual “ticket to the Moon.”

While in January of 2017, SpaceIL became one of the competition’s five finalists – the competition officially ended with no winners on the 31st of March, 2018, after Google decided to end its sponsorship. Nevertheless, and regardless of the competition, SpaceIL managed to garner financial support from both the state and private international donors – whom responded to organization’s commitment to complete its mission for the advancement of science and technology education in Israel. While the implications of a successful mission to the moon will mark a significant milestone for Israel’s Science and Technology sector, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed Minister Akunis to make certain that a bible will be on-board the Israeli spacecraft that is named after the first chapter of the book-of-books in Hebrew – “Beresheet.”