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Israel to launch historic moon mission in December

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YEHUD, ISRAEL (BNS):  Israel plans to launch its first lunar mission in December from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The lunar landing is expected to take place on 13 February 2019.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)'s Space division in Yehud and nonprofit SpaceIL and IAI made the historic announcement recently at a press conference.

A final launch date will be announced closer to the event, IAI said.

Upon its landing on 13 February 2019, the spacecraft carrying the Israeli flag will begin taking photos and video of the landing site.

It will measure the moon's magnetic field as part of a scientific experiment conducted in collaboration with Weizmann Institute. The data will be transmitted to the IAI control room during the two days following the landing.

The lunar landing will make Israel the fourth country after the US, China and Russia to reach the moon.

The spacecraft will be launched as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and its journey to the moon will last about two months, ending on its expected landing date, IAI added.

The Israeli lunar spacecraft will be the smallest to land on the moon, weighing only 600 kgs, it said.

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