SpaceIL, an Israeli team that was once a competitor in the now-defunct Google Lunar X Prize, says it will have its lander launched toward the moon in December. The lander will be a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket taking off from Florida, the team said today in a news release. The plan calls for the lander to execute a series of in-space maneuvers, then touch down on the lunar surface next February to transmit imagery and measure the moon’s magnetic field. SpaceIL says about $88 million has been invested in the project to date, mostly from private donors.
Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.