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Published on Feb 22, 2019
On Thursday night, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first-ever private moon mission. The $100 million mission is headed by SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization based in Israel. The company designed and built the 1,322-pound lunar lander called “Beresheet,” which means “in the beginning” (the first words in the Bible).
Beresheet — which is equipped with cameras, magnetic sensors, and transmitters to relay data to and from to Earth — launched on Thursday inside the top of a Falcon 9 rocket in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
SpaceIL started as a Google Lunar XPrize team and is backed by South African billionaire Morris Kahn. If the Beresheet mission survives a weeks-long trip to the lunar surface, it will make Israel the fourth country ever to pull off a moon landing.