Friday, February 22, 2019

SpaceX successfully sends Israel’s historic moon mission on its way
The first privately funded moon lander mission blasts off ready to make history.
by Eric Mack and Jackson Ryan / Cnet

On Thursday evening, just after 5:45 p.m. PT, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully launched a small spacecraft on its way to the moon from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. And if the little lander, known as Beresheet, makes it all the way to the lunar surface, it'll mark several milestones that've been years in the making. 

SpaceIL, the Israel-based nonprofit that's been working on the lander for eight years, is one of the original Google Lunar XPrize teams. Though the competition ended last year without a winner, SpaceIL is now poised to be the first among nearly 30 teams to make it to the moon on its own anyway. 

For SpaceX, the launch and retrieval of the Falcon 9 first stage was one of the most challenging returns to date. Weather conditions were extremely poor, but the reusable booster successfully landed on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship eight minutes after liftoff. This is the third time this particular booster has been sent up and successfully come back to Earth and, according to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the highest re-entry heating to date. The booster will fly for a fourth time in a planned in-flight abort test later this year.

Read entire article and see videos here: https://www.cnet.com/news/spacex-space-x-beresheet-moon-mission-israel/

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