The first private space probe on the moon could bring a new era of space exploration

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By Corey S. Powell

Beresheet is the first word of the Hebrew Bible, which means "early". It is also the proper name of the robotic robot that a young Israeli company plans to launch on the Moon on February 21st.

If the mission succeeds, Beresheet will be the first Israeli spacecraft to travel beyond the Earth's orbit and the first private lander on the moon. The mission could also mark the beginning of a new era of spaceflight – a period in which companies go where previously only countries had left.

John Horack, an aerospace engineer at Ohio State University and expert in spaceflight, is stunned by the possibilities. "Nothing like it has been tried before," he says. "We are studying a whole new model of space exploration beyond the Earth's orbit."

From small-scale financing to engineering (Beresheet is about the size of a commercial refrigerator), almost everything about the Israeli investigation goes against tradition. His inspiration does not come from a government program, but from the Google Lunar XPrize, an "American Idol" contest promising $ 30 million to any private team able to place a lander on the moon and do it go 500 meters. and send back photos and a video documenting his career.

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