Close to two months after the initial launch, an Israeli spacecraft has gone into the moon’s orbit and will attempt to land on its surface.
If it all works well, Israel will have made history in achieving the first moon landing from a private company, Business Insider reported. This would also make Israel the fourth country to have a spacecraft survive an attempt to have an object land on the moon.
Called Beresheet (Hebrew for “Genesis”), the module was launched on a SpaceX rocket on February 21. Since then, the rover has accelerated at a gradual pace towards the moon - and even passed the time by taking a selfie. SpaceIL, a nonprofit group based at Tel Aviv University, had been developing the spacecraft since 2011 on about a $100 million budget from mostly private donors.
SpaceIL anticipates that Beresheet will land on the moon at some point between 3 and 4PM EDT on Thursday, April 11, Business Insider reported.
“This joint mission of SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will be broadcast live via satellite for a pool feed and livestreamed with access to all media,” SpaceIL wrote in a statement. The broadcast will also take viewers inside the mission control center in Yehud, Israel.
Watch below for a livestream of this historic event:
Adrianna Chaviva Freedman is the Social Media Intern for the Forward. You can reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @ac_freedman