Israel Rising

See? That’s what I’ve been talkin’ about.

This photo was taken by a collection of firsts…

First Israeli probe to the Moon.

Soon to be first Israeli lander on the Moon.

First Commercial Space Spacecraft to the Moon.

First Falcon-launched payload to the Moon.

First Lunar XPrize contender to reach the Moon.

All in one probe.

While we wait for Falcon Heavy’s next Arabsat 6a launch window today (since upper-level winds prevented yesterday’s launch) SpaceIL, a small company based in Israel, will attempt to land a spacecraft in the Lunar dust of the Sea of Serenity.

This sort of thing just wasn’t possible at traditional launch costs a decade ago and you can expect to see more small countries getting into the game during the next decade. I’m not just talking about robotic missions like this Israeli probe Beresheet either, but later this year or the next Commercial Space will finally start arranging to fly passengers. Yes, companies and small countries will soon be able to send their people into Earth orbit.

The lander itself isn’t much, it isn’t meant to be. It was built to satisfy the requirements of the Lunar XPrize. The prize expired uncollected, but several contenders like SpaceIL kept going. Their lander can take and send images like the one at the top of this article. It also carries a magnetometer and a Retroreflector for bouncing research lasers from Earth.

It launched from Earth on February 22nd on a SpaceX Falcon 9. The whole project has a budget of just $95M.

BTW…if the U.S. State Department doesn’t like you, then they won’t allow your country to buy these cheap rides from SpaceX — a U.S. company. Bare that in mind when making your foreign policy decisions. Russia, Iran, North Korea, China…I’m talking to you. Time to jump on the train before the Conductor closes the doors. The opportunities of the space economy won’t wait.

Just sayin’. Play nice and maybe you too will have a new generation of engineers rising up and making money for your country.

Or would you rather countries like Israel have all the fun?

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~ by Bill Housley on April 11, 2019.

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