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NASA to participate in first Israeli moon mission

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The Israeli Space Agency (ISA) announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement with NASA to engage the American space agency in the first Israeli moon mission.
SpaceIL is an Israeli nonprofit organization, established in 2011, aiming to land a spacecraft on the moon by 2019.

As part of the agreement, the unmanned spacecraft will be fitted with a NASA laser reflector designed to help locate the exact position of the spaceship after landing.
NASA will enable SpaceIL to receive communications services with the spacecraft and conduct deep space exploration through NASA’s huge antenna network, which will help communicate with earth.

It was also agreed that NASA would have access to the data generated by the magnetometer device installed on the spacecraft.

The device, developed in cooperation with the Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, will conduct measurements of the magnetic field at the landing site of the spacecraft. In addition, NASA’s lunar robotic spacecraft LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) launched 9 years ago and orbiting the moon, will try to photograph the Israeli spacecraft as it lands on the moon.

The agreement follows the recent visit of NASA chief Jim Bridenstine to Israel last June, during which he signed a memorandum of understanding with the ISA to promote cooperation between the agencies and met with SpaceIL representatives.

During his visit, Bridenstine stated that by year 2025 NASA would establish a space station around the moon and the project would be shared by many countries.

“I am pleased to expand the commercial agreement in the lunar environment, as innovative partnerships are essential as we move back to the moon and create new opportunities there,” said Bridenstine.

The agreement was signed in Bremen, Germany during the annual International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and the world space week, which is marked in Israel in a variety of events.

SourceXinhua

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