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The launch of the Israeli spacecraft to the moon will be postponed to early 2019; The state will increase its support to SpaceIL by about 7 million

SPACEX, which is supposed to launch the Israeli spacecraft to the moon, announced a postponement * The government support will be given to a variety of projects of the association such as: the scientific research on the moon, educational activities in schools and competitions on the subject of space

The disclosure of the agreement between SPACEIL and SPACEX to launch the Israeli spacecraft to the moon, at the President's House about a year ago. Photo: Alon Hadar
The disclosure of the agreement between SPACEIL and SPACEX to launch the Israeli spacecraft to the moon, at the President's House about a year ago. Photo: Alon Hadar

The SpaceIL association updates today (Wed) that these days the spacecraft is in the advanced stages of experiments, testing its resistance to the challenging environmental conditions in space. The experiments are carried out in the space plant laboratories of the Aerospace Industry. Up to this stage all the experiments performed have been successfully completed.

At the same time, the launch company recently informed SpaceIL of a new launch date. This is a postponement of several weeks to the beginning of 2019. The postponement is due to factors beyond the association's control.

The spacecraft, whose assembly at the aerospace industry was completed a few weeks ago, first underwent a series of tests to examine the integration of the various systems in the spacecraft (integration): the spacecraft entered a series of environmental tests, some of which have already been successfully completed. The spacecraft underwent a series of vibration experiments and extreme acoustic noise tests, the purpose of which is to simulate the launch conditions and to ensure that the spacecraft and its systems will operate after the spacecraft is released from the launcher, in addition, an extensive series of experiments was conducted that includes experiments to test the durability of the spacecraft's landing legs on the moon.

This week the spacecraft began the most complex experiment aimed at testing its resistance to the temperature and low pressure conditions in space. The experiment is carried out in a dedicated thermal vacuum chamber, which is part of the aerospace industry's advanced infrastructure and experiments. In this chamber the spacecraft will be exposed to vacuum conditions and extreme heat and cold temperatures in the range between -180˚C and 70˚C. This experiment will last about two weeks.

Simultaneously with the progress of the tests of the spacecraft systems, validation and verification tests are carried out for the functioning of the spacecraft in various scenarios during the mission phases. Since it is not possible to test the spacecraft in the real scenarios, the tests are carried out partly on a simulator developed by SpaceIL that simulates the behavior of the spacecraft and its systems and partly on the spacecraft itself.

Recently, SpaceIL and the Israel Space Agency announced a collaboration with NASA that will allow SpaceIL to improve the ability to track and communicate with the spacecraft before, during and after the moon landing. A laser reflector will be installed on the spacecraft, which will allow NASA to locate the position of the spacecraft on the moon. Also, SpaceIL will share with NASA the data obtained from the scientific experiment to measure the magnetic field at the landing site.

The CEO of SpaceIL, Dr. Ido Antabi, said: "The successful progress in the experiments and tests program testifies to the professional work of the SpaceIL teams and the aerospace industry. There is still a lot of work left until the readiness for the launch is completed, which we will complete according to the plan. The new launch window will allow us to carry out additional tests and increase our level of readiness for the mission. The signing of the agreement with NASA indicates the recognition of the head of NASA in the importance of the project, its innovation and the future potential inherent in it."

The VP of the Aerospace Industries, Director of the Missiles and Space Division, Boaz Levy: "The significant progress made and the completion of the construction of the first spacecraft close to the moon for Space IL, is an extraordinary technological achievement that is a certificate of honor for all those involved in the craft and the amazing technological capabilities that can be reached thanks to courage, innovation and the endless desire to make dreams come true. We are proud to take part in this national mission led by the SpaceIL association that stirs the imagination of hundreds of thousands of students throughout Israel and encourages our sons and daughters to dream and dare. This is a significant step in building civil space capabilities in Israel, a field that is a technological and economic locomotive in the entire world."

Since the establishment of SpaceIL, the mission to land an Israeli spacecraft on the moon has become an Israeli national project with educational values, funded by donors, such as: Miri and Sheldon Adelson, Sami Segol, Lynn Shusterman, Steven Grand and more. The one who took the lead to complete the mission and sees it as a mission, is the philanthropist and businessman Maurice Kahn who chose to finance a significant part of the project in the amount of approximately NIS 100 million and even serves as the president of the SpaceIL association.

The Aerospace Industry, which is Israel's home of space, has been a full partner in the project since day one. Over the years, additional partners were added from the private sector, government companies and academia. The most prominent among them: the Weizmann Institute of Science, the Israel Space Agency, the Ministry of Science, Bezeq and more.

The Israel Space Agency will increase support for the SpaceIL project

The Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science announces today the approval of support in the amount of up to 7.25 million NIS for a variety of groundbreaking technological projects of the SpaceIL association - the flagship project of landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon, which is expected to be launched in the coming months. This sum joins approximately NIS 2 million already invested in developments that helped the association in its beginnings. The support will be given to a variety of projects of the association such as: the scientific research on the moon, educational activities in schools and competitions on the subject of space.

"The project to develop and launch SpaceIL's spacecraft to the moon will give the State of Israel an advantage in space exploration and the development of space technologies," Science Minister Ofir Akunis said today. "When I took office I committed to find a way for this amazing project to continue to exist and now we have fulfilled the promise. The project is expected to promote the education of children and youth in science and technology and promote scientific research on the moon and it arouses broad national pride."

The support for the association will include, for example, the financing of the scientific experiment in which the spacecraft will measure the magnetic field on
The moon, lectures in schools, educational activities such as "the sky is not the limit", cyber championships, enrichment programs in scientific centers and the moon hackathon.

As part of the scientific mission, the spacecraft will map the magnetism of different regions on the moon to deepen the understanding of everything we know about the ability of small worlds to maintain a magnetic field.

2 תגובות

  1. indeed. It's time. So that when they set up a delegation to settle on another planet there will be Israeli representatives.
    7 million is nice, but 30 million is better.

  2. I still remember the first lecture I heard from one of the SpaceIL projects six or seven years ago in a pub in Tel Aviv.
    Well done!!

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