Tech glitch: Israeli spacecraft hits first snag on lunar voyage

The little lander Beresheet hopes to make history in multiple ways this year.                  SpaceIL

The little lander Beresheet hopes to make history in multiple ways this year. SpaceIL

Beresheet, which means "Genesis" in Hebrew, lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida early Friday morning atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the private USA -based SpaceX company of entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Israel on Friday successfully launched its first spacecraft created to land on the moon, from the Kennedy Space Center in the United States, early on Friday, Israeli officials said. Beresheet is taking a long route to the lunar surface, firing its engine during each loop around the Earth to gradually raise its orbit to reach the moon. As 500 individuals gathered in a room dealing with two massive screens awaiting the take-off, many held their breaths - would the launch achieve success or not? History has been made. Thank you to the awesome teams if SpaceIL and IAI. Around $40 million of the sum came from philanthropist and businessman Morris Kahn, who is also SpaceIL's president.

"We arrived at the launch with a fully tested spacecraft on its way for a highly challenging mission. At this time, the spacecraft's systems are working well", SpaceIL tweeted. "Of course it isn't nice, but we are still optimistic", said SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby. Initially founded to compete in Google's 10-year space race competition Lunar X Prize, the organization continued after the competition ended with no victor.

The Beresheet mission includes plans to measure the Moon's local magnetic field to help understand how it formed, and also carries a digital "time capsule". ARSP.B1) today announced that the Beresheet spacecraft launched towards the moon on Friday had successfully performed its first maneuver.

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