Monday, February 7, 2011

Israeli Flag on the Moon

"This meeting is yet another landmark in the continuing ASRI support of the SpaceIL ambitious dream to put an Israeli flag on the moon."

Team Space IL
Team SpaceIL - aiming to put an Israeli flag on the moon by the end of 2012

Team Space IL is a nonprofit organization and the only Israeli group competing in the Google Lunar X PRIZE. The goal of the team is to make an important contribution to Israel's space program and to promote scientific education among Israeli youth by creating interest in science and space. The team hopes to donate profits, if earned, to educational purposes.

The team was established by Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub, and has received encouragement from the Chairman of the Israeli Space Agency and sparked interest within industrial and academic circles such as the Israeli Aerospace Industry, Elbit Systems, Aeronautics, Plasan, as well as the Asher Space Research Institute at the Technion (ASRI), Tel-Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, the Ramon Foundation, the Israeli Nano-Satellite Association and others.

The group is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “put the Israeli flag on the moon.”  They aim to “build a small space robot that will make the long journey from the earth to the moon” with an additional goal of promoting technological education in Israel.

The trio, all engineers and computer programmers, aims to send a small box the size of a Coca-Cola bottle into space.  The box – which will hold the robot – will be put on a commercial launcher which will be sent into orbit.  At that point, the goal will be to pilot the capsule to the moon.  According to Bash, the majority of the space will be taken up by the gas tank, not the robot itself, which is only supposed to last one or two months at the maximum.

Winetraub says that in 2012, people should look at the moon with a high-powered telescope because there will be an Israeli flag flying on the surface.

Present at the meeting were ASRI Head Prof. Ehud Behar, Prof. Pini Gurfil, Dr. Alex Kapulkin, and PhD candidate Igal Kronhaus as well as Mr. Nehemia Miller and Dr. David Mishne from Rafael.

"Together, ASRI and our Rafael collaborators, are offering the knowledge and skills of the nation's best experts in orbit planning, propulsion, and creative space research to this exciting young team," said ASRI Director Prof. Ehud Behar, "I believe the combination of their enthusiasm and the professional assistance from Israel's world renown space industry and from us might eventually make their dream come true."

1 comment: