SpaceX launches moon lander, lands booster despite tough conditions

SpaceX launches moon lander, lands booster despite tough conditions

But, the spacecraft will take almost two months to reach the moon.

If the Beresheet mission succeeds, Israel will become the fourth country ever to land on the moon.

A communications satellite for Indonesia is the main cargo aboard the Falcon rocket, scheduled to blast off Thursday night.

If the mission is successful, Israel will be both the fourth nation and the fourth-largest nation to land on the moon, he added.

"This is the beginning of Israel's story in deep space. whether this succeeds or fails", SpaceIL president and billionaire high-tech developer Morris Kahn, who invested $US44 million of his own money into the Beresheet project, said.

If it is successful, it will join an exclusive club of countries, including the United States, Russia, and China in pulling off the landing. This will be the first attempt at a lunar landing by a private company, and it's also the first launch by an Israeli spacecraft.

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The Falcon 9 lifted off at 8:45 p.m. The rocket will launch from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin wished the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL well on Thursday ahead of the launch of its unmanned robotic explorer, named "Beresheet", to the moon.

In a tweet, the company said simply: "Liftoff!" Created to radically improve the ease and speed of Falcon 9 booster reuse, Block 5 debuted in May 2018 and has now launched 12 times, with half of those missions flying on flight-proven boosters. The engine fired again for a final two-minute burn, and after a five-minute coast, Beresheet was deployed successfully.

SpaceIL's Beresheet robot is just one of several spacecraft "ridesharing" on the rocket.

Nusantara Satu is a 4,100-kilogram communications satellite equipped with C- and Ku-band transponders, mainly for broadband connectivity. Space Systems Loral took on that responsibility, signing up rideshare broker Spaceflight Inc. of Seattle, Washington, which then secured Israel's 600-kilogram Beresheet lander and the Air Force Research laboratory's 60-kilogram S5 smallsat. Once landed, Beresheet's mission will be to transmit photo and videos of the surface, as well as to conduct scientific measurements.

It is also carrying an Indonesian telecommunications satellite and an experimental US Air Force satellite. This graphic reveals just how big it is - and what's out there. The reuse of boosters is part of SpaceX's plan to make spaceflight cheaper. Two minutes after it separates from the rocket, Beresheet will communicate for the first time with the mission's control center in Yehud, Israel. The proportion of flight-proven to new booster launches is likely to continue to grow in 2019, ultimately reaching a point where new boosters are limited to inaugural hardware debuts or specific contractual requests from conservative USA government customers.

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