Israel could send the first privately-funded mission to the Moon on a Falcon 9 rocket
Israel nonprofit competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition — will use SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket to launch its lunar lander into space, the group announced today in Jerusalem.
The rocket will launch the team’s vehicle into lower Earth orbit sometime in the second half of 2017. From there, the rocket will carry the lander farther into space, and then the spacecraft will propel itself the rest of the way to land gently on the Moon.
With today’s announcement, SpaceIL is the first of the 16 Lunar X Prize teams to book a ride off the planet. If the mission succeeds, it will be the first Israeli mission — as well as the first private spaceflight mission — to soft-land a vehicle on the lunar surface. Eran Privman, CEO of SpaceIL, claimed the group isn’t focused on the competition, but they are confident they can win. “I promise you once we land on the Moon, we’ll look around and see we are the first,” he said.
Only three nations have ever landed a spacecraft intact on the Moon: the United States, Russia, and China. Many countries have slammed lunar orbiters or probes into the Moon to study its environment, but gently landing a spacecraft is trickier. The Moon is big enough to have a gravitational pull, but it doesn’t have an atmosphere to slow incoming objects. Spacecraft in lunar orbit must fire retro-rockets, very precisely, in the opposite direction of the Moon. That way they can slowly descend without slamming into the rock. It’s a delicate procedure that usually requires a lot of time and money, which is why only government agencies have been able to do it up until now.
A trait carried over from their debut, luckily for us listeners
Egyptian chest, and was moreover intensified by his delirium, that his mates were forced to lace him fast, even there, as he sailed, raving in his hammock. In a strait-jacket, he swung to the mad rockings of the gales. And, when running into more sufferable latitudes, the ship, with mild stun’sails spread, floated across the tranquil tropics, and, to all appearances.
That it was only then, on the homeward voyage, after the encounter, that the final monomania seized him, seems all but certain from the fact that, at intervals during the passage, he was a raving lunatic; and, though unlimbed of a leg, yet such vital strength yet lurked in his Egyptian chest, and was moreover intensified by his delirium, that his mates were forced to lace him fast, even there, as he sailed, raving in his hammock. In a strait-jacket, he swung to the mad rockings of the gales. And, when running into more sufferable latitudes, the ship, with mild stun’sails spread, floated across the tranquil tropics, and, to all appearances, the old man’s delirium seemed left behind him with the Cape Horn swells.
Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form. Ahab’s full lunacy subsided not, but deepeningly contracted; like the unabated Hudson, when that noble Northman flows narrowly, but unfathomably through the Highland gorge.
Lauren Mayberry’s lyrics touches on elements of heartbreak
God the direful madness was now gone; even then, Ahab, in his hidden self, raved on. Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. When you think it fled, it may have but become transfigured into some still subtler form. Ahab’s full lunacy subsided not, but deepeningly contracted; like the unabated Hudson, when that noble Northman flows narrowly, but unfathomably through the Highland gorge.
But, as in his narrow-flowing monomania, not one jot of Ahab’s broad madness had been left behind; so in that broad madness, not one jot of his great natural intellect had perished. That before living agent, now became the living instrument. If such a furious trope may stand, his special lunacy stormed his general sanity, and carried it, and turned all its concentred cannon upon its own mad mark. I knew the Indians would soon discover that they were on the wrong trail and that the search for me would be renewed in the right direction as soon as they located my tracks. I had gone but a short distance further when what seemed to be an excellent trail opened up around the face of a high cliff. The trail was level and quite broad and led upward and in the general direction I wished to go. The cliff arose for several hundred feet on my right, and on my left was an equal and nearly perpendicular drop to the bottom of a rocky ravine.
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