Israel is to launch its first moon mission this week, sending an unmanned spacecraft to collect data to be shared with NASA, organizers said Monday.
Israeli space exploration firm SpaceIL, together with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), will launch a 585-kilogram (1,290-pound) Beresheet (Genesis) spacecraft into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida at around 0145 GMT on Friday.
So far, only the US, Russia and China have landed spacecrafts on the moon. The Chinese craft made the first ever soft landing on the far side of the moon on January 3.I
“We are entering history and are proud to belong to a group that has dreamed and fulfilled the vision shared by many countries in the world but that so far only three of them have accomplished,” SpaceIL president Morris Kahn said.