2018-10-10 / Mideast

NASA signs deal with Israel

NASA has signed an agreement with the Israel Space Agency and the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL to collaborate on the Jewish state’s unmanned moon mission slated to launch from Cape Canaveral next year.

The landing would culminate eight years of collaboration on the $88-million project. If it succeeds, Israel will become the fourth country to reach Earth’s rocky satellite. The spacecraft’s journey to the moon will last about two months. The Israeli craft will be the smallest to land on the moon, weighing only 1,322 pounds.

Upon its landing, the spacecraft plans to take photos and video of the landing site while also measuring the moon’s magnetic field as part of a Weizmann Institute scientific experiment.

According to the new agreement, NASA will contribute a laser retro-reflector array to aid with ground tracking and support to aid in mission communication. ISA and SpaceIL will share data with the U.S. space agency from the SpaceIL lunar magnetometer installed aboard the spacecraft. (JTA)

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