Will Israel become the fourth nation to land a probe on the Moon ? Image Credit: NASA
Set to launch in December, the lander will touch down on the lunar surface in February of next year.
Announced earlier today, the project originally started out life as part of Google's Lunar XPrize which had offered a $30 million incentive to private companies to develop their own Moon missions.
When the prize expired back in March, the team behind Israel's new lunar lander (Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub) decided to continue with the project regardless.
South African-born Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn later stepped in to help fund the endeavour.
"I thought this was a great idea," he said. "And I asked them - 'do you have any money?'"
Weighing in at around 585kg, the probe will launch atop a SpaceX rocket in December and will land on the lunar surface on February 13th, 2019.
If the mission succeeds, it could pave the way for more privately-funded missions in the future.
Source: Phys.org | Comments (3)