An Israeli nonprofit says it has pushed back the launch of what it hopes will be the first private spacecraft to land on the moon.
Officials from SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries told reporters Monday that the landing craft, dubbed Beresheet, or Genesis, will ship in February to Florida, where, propelled by a SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, it will commence its months-long voyage to the moon. It had been slated to launch this month.
Israel Aerospace Industries manager Opher Doron stressed that the small craft, roughly the size of a washing machine, faces a “difficult, arduous journey” because it will have to make a number of orbits before landing.
If successful, the team promises the landing will be a breakthrough for Israeli technology and commercial space travel.