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Israelis say their lander will soon fly to the moon

SpaceIL lander
SpaceIL’s lander is on display in a clean room. (SpaceIL Photo / Eliran Avital)

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.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, 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.

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