The project culminated in the design of an Israeli lunar probe, which SpaceIL claimed would launch regardless of the contest's outcome.
If successful, Israel will be the fourth country to boast the prestige of touching down on the moon after the US, Soviet Russia, and China. "It's a small, smart spacecraft, it has a two meters diameter, its height is about 1.5 meters (3.2 feet), it weighs 600 kilograms (1,300 lbs), and will land on the Moon at the weight of 180 kilograms (396 lbs)".
SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries presented the new spacecraft, which took eight years of collaborative efforts, and $95 million to build the smallest aircraft to date.
On Tuesday, the team announced its goal of a February 13, 2019, moon landing, but it has yet to set a specific launch date in December. He had experienced numerous challenges in his life, but this was the greatest challenge of all. SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries have raised $88 million so far, CNET reports.
But the SpaceIL team hopes that putting an Israeli-made module on the moon could help maintain Israel's technological momentum for years to come. The spacecraft will orbit the Moon for nearly two months before landing, where it will record and send video and conduct some small science observations using a magnetometer. The State of Israel, which is already firmly planted in the realm of space in its military activity, must harness resources for the benefit of civilian space, which is an engine of innovation, technology, education and groundbreaking around the world. The accomplishment they will soon achieve is the fruit of intensive labor of many years, of the best of minds.
"This is national history", said IAI director Yossi Weiss.
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Once it touches down on the moon, the spacecraft will use its cameras to take photos and video of the lunar surface.
The competition never got off the ground, but SpaceIL kept working, getting funding from donors, including Kahn and American Jewish billionaire philanthropist Sheldon Adelson.
IAI has been a full partner in the project from its inception.
"As we went deeper into the project and the more people joined, we understood its complexity", Damari said.
SpaceIL will ship the as yet unnamed module to the United States in November ahead of the launch. The 585kg (1,289lb) unmanned module, which has yet to be named, will be sent to the Earth's orbit aboard a SpaceX Falcon rocket, before heading towards the Earth's natural satellite.
SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby revealed the spacecraft's course to the moon during the press event.