For the second time in as many months, a new mission to the moon is nearly ready to launch. As the new Moon race heats up, lunar science continues to expand our understanding of our constant gray companion and has revealed an answer to a centuries old question of asteroid bombardment in Earth’s past.
February will see yet another flight to the moon, this time in the form of a rideshare mission launching aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket No Earlier Than 20:58 EST on Monday, 18 February (0158 on 19 February) from SLC-40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The rideshare will see both passengers, the SpaceIL (an Israeli company) lunar lander and the mission’s primary satellite: Nusantara Satu, deployed into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit.
The Israeli lunar lander will then perform a series of burns over the course of three Earth orbits to spiral it outward for eventual capture by the Moon’s gravity.
After two subsequent lunar orbits, the lander will then seek to perform a soft touchdown on the Moon about two months after its launch.
If successful, the mission will make Israel the fourth nation to achieve a soft landing on ...