SpaceX launches Falcon 9 with the first privately funded lunar lander on board

Feb

22

2019

SpaceX successfully completed its 70th space mission on Friday morning. The company launched a Falcon 9 with three spacecraft on board, including the Israeli SpaceIL lunar lander. The Falcon 9 rocket landed on the drone ship.

With its mission from Cape Canaveral in the US, SpaceX successfully brought the three spacecraft into Earth their orbit . First, the lander of SpaceIL was released. He then went on his two-month journey to the moon, where the spacecraft will take pictures on the way and after landing.

The lunar landlord bears the name Beresheet, Hebrew for ‘in the beginning’ and comes from the non-profit organization SpaceIL. It is the first privately funded lunar mission and also the first time that Israel sends an unmanned probe towards the moon. With Beresheet, Israel is in the row of United States, Russia and China, who have brought landers to the moon before.

SpaceIL stems from the Lunar X Prize competition that Google announced in 2007 . The goal was to start private moon landings, with a top prize of 25 million dollars. Organizations had to reach the celestial body with their lunar lander and cover 500 meters. The Israeli team was the first to officially sign up and pursue the plan, even though the 2017 deadline for officially being eligible for the win expired.

SpaceIL

The Falcon 9 also carried an Indonesian satellite named Nusantara Satu, which is responsible for satellite internet in the Asian country. The third spacecraft of the mission is the S5, an American small satellite of the Ministry of Defense.

SpaceX and Spaceflight Industries carried out the mission. This last company is a mediator for space flights. Parties can register with Spaceflight Industries to send payloads when space is available. Thus this mission initially revolved around the Nusantara Satu, after which Spaceflight Industries entered the remaining two places for SpaceIL and the US Defense. Afterwards the Falcon 9 rocket landed again on the drone ship ‘Of Course I Still Love You’. It was the third time that this rocket successfully launched a landing and landing.

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