Israel to touch the moon

An Israeli organisation plans the country’s first lunar space mission in December. An Israeli organisation announced plans today to launch the country’s first spacecraft to the moon in December, with hopes of burnishing Israel’s reputation as a small nation with otherworldly high-tech ambitions. The unmanned spacecraft, shaped like a pod and weighing some 585 kilogrammes (1,300 pounds) at launch, will land on the moon on February 13, 2019 if all goes according to plan, organisers SpaceIL told journalists. It will be launched via a rocket from American entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm and its mission will include research on the moon’s magnetic field. Its first task however will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon, organisers said.