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First private Israeli lunar mission will launch in February

It had been planned to launch this month.

The SpaceIL lunar module (Ariel Schalit/AP)
The SpaceIL lunar module (Ariel Schalit/AP)

An Israeli company says it has pushed back the launch of what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon.

Officials from SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters that the landing craft, dubbed Beresheet – or Genesis, will travel in February to Florida, where, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon.

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A time capsule that will go inside the SpaceIL lunar module (Ariel Schalit/AP)

It had been planned to launch this month.

Israel Aerospace Industries manager Opher Doron stressed that the small craft, about the size of a washing machine, faces a “difficult, arduous journey” because it will have to make a number of orbits before landing.

If successful, the team promises the landing will be a breakthrough for Israeli technology and commercial space travel.

Press Association

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