Don't miss SpaceX launching a historic Moon mission this evening

February 22, 2019

 

Tonight at 8:45pm EST, SpaceX will be launching their Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Falcon 9 will be delivering the SSL-built Nusantara Satu satellite for the Pasifik Satelit Nusantara (PSN), a leading Asian provider of satellite communications. On top of that, SpaceX is carrying the Israeli SpaceIL Lunar Lander, which will become the world's first privately funded spacecraft to reach the Moon. 

 

The first stage of this mission will perform a landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. A fairing recovery attempt does not seem to be occurring for this mission due to rough seas. 

 

SpaceIL's Lunar Lander competed in the Google Lunar XPrize competition and will be the lightest spacecraft to land on the surface of the Moon. This will be a historic first for the country of Israel as well as a huge accomplishment for the team. It will take around 2 months after launch for the lander to enter the Moon's Sphere of Influence (The gravity well around the Moon) before being able to land under its own power. This landers objective is to transmit photos from the environment around itself as well as conduct scientific measurements of the Moon's surface. 

 

This booster has flown 2 missions previously, supporting the iridium-7 and SAOCOM 1A missions. 

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