May 22, 2019

Photos: Beresheet lander tested for historic moon mission


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The Beresheet moon lander will attempt to become the first privately-funded spacecraft to reach the moon, and these photos show the robotic probe’s journey through testing inside a clean room at Israel Aerospace Industries, followed by its attachment to a multi-satellite stack for launch on a Falcon 9 rocket.

Beresheet, which means “genesis” or “in the beginning” in Hebrew, is the product of a nearly eight-year effort by SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit. With the help of backing from billionaire entrepreneurs, and donations from Israeli companies like IAI, the spacecraft is set for launch Feb. 21 from Cape Canaveral.

Landing on the moon is scheduled for April. Read our full story for details on the mission.

The completed SpaceIL Beresheet lunar lander is pictured with its solar panels attached. Credit: SpaceIL
SpaceIL co-founders Kfir Damari, Yonatan Winetraub and Yariv Bash insert a time capsule on the Beresheet spacecraft. The time capsule includes three discs with digital files that will remain on the moon with the spacecraft. The discs include details on the spacecraft and the crew that built it, and national and cultural symbols, such as the Israeli flag, the Israeli national anthem, and the Bible. Credit: SpaceIL
The Beresheet spacecraft inside IAI’s vacuum test chamber. Credit: SpaceIL
Credit: SpaceIL
Credit: SpaceIL
Credit: SpaceIL
Credit: SpaceIL
Credit: SpaceIL
Credit: SpaceIL
The Nusantara Satu spacecraft, topped with the Beresheet lunar lander and the U.S. Air Force’s S5 space situational awareness satellite, is pictured before encapsulation inside the Falcon 9 rocket’s payload fairing at Cape Canaveral. Credit: SSL

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