Israel’s Beresheet lunar lander has almost made it to the moon

The Israeli lunar lander Beresheet is getting ready to touch down on the moon on April 11, 2019.

This will be a huge milestone. To date, the only organizations to pull off a soft lunar landing are superpower governments — the Soviet Union, the United States and China.

Beresheet, is a private effort run by the nonprofit SpaceIL and the company Israel Aerospace Industries. SpaceIL formed in 2011 to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP).

Beresheet will perform some science work at and around the moon, such as measuring local lunar magnetic fields. It also carries a “lunar library” to help safeguard slices of human history and culture.

The total cost of the mission, including launch, is about $100 million, according to team members.

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