SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) hope to have their spacecraft land on the Moon on Feb. 13, 2019 (Shoshanna Solomon)
Save the date. On February 13, 2019, an Israeli-built unmanned spacecraft is expected to land on the moon, having blasted off from Earth two months earlier, project managers said at a news conference Tuesday.
If all goes well, the SpaceIL spider-like craft will give Israel entry into the exclusive club of just three nations that have so far achieved a controlled landing on the moon’s surface.
The probe will be launched sometime in December from Cape Canaveral aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, officials said during the media event, held at an Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) space technology site in Yehud. It is scheduled to land on February 13, 2019.
“We will put the Israeli flag on the moon,” said Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL.
“As soon as the spacecraft reaches the landing point it will be completely autonomous,” Anteby said. “The motor will brake the craft and it will reach the ground at zero speed for a soft landing.”