First Private Lunar Lander Passes Launch Tests at SpaceX Facility
On Wednesday, the Israeli nonprofit tweeted that it “successfully completed the testing stage” of refueling and assembling the launcher. The tests took place at SpaceX’s processing facility in Florida, according to GeekWire — and now that they’re out of the way, SpaceIL’s craft is one step closer to launch.
The lander, which SpaceIL dubbed Beresheet, is about the size of a dishwasher and will weigh 1,290 pounds once fueled up.
The plan is for the craft to split from the Falcon 9 when it hits an altitude of 37,000 miles. It will then complete a series of maneuvers before landing on the Moon approximately eight weeks after launch, which is currently scheduled for some time after Feb. 18.