Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft to attempt Moon landing

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Beresheet



The Beresheet spacecraft captured this image while it was in orbit around the Moon

The first privately funded mission to the Moon will attempt to land on the lunar surface today.

The Israeli spacecraft – called Beresheet – will try for a soft touch down, before taking pictures and conducting experiments.

Until now, only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have achieved this.

The mission has cost about $100m, paving the way for future low-cost lunar exploration.

Beresheet, which is Hebrew for “in the beginning”, is a joint project between SpaceIL, a privately funded Israeli non-profit organisation, and Israel Aerospace Industries.

Morris Kahn, the founder of SpaceIL, told BBC News: “The landing will be extremely challenging.

“But we’ve got good engineers, the spacecraft has responded well to our instructions over the last two months…

I’m reasonably confident but a little nervous.”

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SpaceX



The spacecraft launched on a SpaceX rocket in February

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