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Watch the historic first private mission to the Moon launch Thursday night

For the first time later this week, a privately developed moon lander will launch aboard a privately built rocket, organized by a private launch coordinator. It’s an historic moment in space and the Israeli mission stands to make history again if it touches down on the Moon’s surface as planned on April 11.
The Beresheet (“Genesis”) program was originally conceived as an entry into the ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful Google Lunar Xprize in 2010, which challenged people to accomplish a lunar landing, with $30 million in prizes as the incentive. The prize closed last year with no winner but as these Xprize competitions aim to do, it had already spurred great interest and investment in a private moon mission.
SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries worked together on the mission, which will bring cameras, a magnetometer, and a capsule filled with items from the country to, hopefully, a safe rest on the lunar surface.
Watch the historic first private mission to the Moon launch Thursday night
The Beresheet lander ahead of packaging for launch.
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