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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘moon’

Israeli Startup Launching World’s First Privately-Funded Moon Landing

Friday, October 9th, 2015

(JNi.media) When Howard Stern blasted Roger Waters for his evangelical BDS tactics, including the former Pink Floyd’s condemnation of the band Bon Jovi for having a concert in Tel Aviv (not even part of the “occupied” territories), Stern said, referring to a title of a Pink Floyd album, “Where does Roger Waters want the Jews to go? To the dark side of the moon?”

A team of Israelis may be doing just that, although on just a short trip, and to the lit side of the moon, not the dark parts. In fact, they will not only represent the first Israeli lunar mission, but may be the first team in the world to launch a private moon landing. SpaceIL, a startup developed by three Israeli engineers in 2010 is about to successfully meet the challenge of Google’s Lunar X Prize competition, and will use the prize money to encourage young people to become more involved with science. Google’s competition will give $20 million to the first non-government affiliated team to accomplish a soft landing of an unmanned spacecraft on the moon, travel 500 meters on, above or below the surface of the moon, and send high definition images back to Earth.

SpaceIL is headed by Eran Privman and his co-founders, Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub. They are using nano and micro technologies to develop a relatively small, inexpensive spacecraft the size of a dishwasher. It employs the “hop” rather than the “rover” concept for traveling, to save mass. The spacecraft will land on the moon and take off again with the remaining fuel for a second landing to cover the required 500 meters.

Kfir Damari was a graduate of Israel’s elite 8200 intelligence army unit. His interest in science began early, when he was programming computers by the age of six, while his friends were toying around with transformers. He became a lecturer in computer science before collaborating on the SpaceIL project. Damari told the Forward that, following a presentation of the spacecraft, a child asked for his autograph. “The fact that I can stand on stage and say ‘I’m Kfir and I’m an engineer’ and get asked for my autograph is exactly the kind of excitement I’m looking to create.” Eran Privman served in the Israeli Air Force and holds a Ph.D in computer science with a specialty in Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute. Prior to heading SpaceIL, Privman held several executive positions at Amdocs, a market leader in customer experience software solutions. Yonatan Winetraub gained space experience at NASA’s International Space University and worked with satellite systems. Yariv Bash, another SpaceIL founder, is an electronics and computer engineer and has developed advanced GPS based products. One of the people working on the project is just 15 years old, Amit Levin, working on determining the best place to land the craft. He was recruited after a scientist from SpaceIL showed students photographs of the moon’s surface. “He was like a messiah to me,” Amit said, and added, “In school, you work for an exercise book, and a teacher has the answers, or the answers are in the back of a book, and you aren’t supposed to look. This is the first time I’ve had a challenge and no one has the answer. It is so exciting.”

SpaceIL’s objective isn’t just to make it to the moon or to win the contest, but also to create an “Apollo effect” in Israel and around the world, to stimulate interest in science, technology and mathematics. If awarded the prize money, SpaceIL plans to use it to expand space educational opportunities and to invest in the space industry which they hope will take off in Israel.


Blood Moon Over Tel Aviv

Monday, September 28th, 2015

View of a full lunar eclipse combined with a so-called supermoon/blood moon in Tel Aviv, Israel, on September 28, 2015.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, following its orbit around Earth, passes directly behind our planet as seen from the sun.

Blood moon
Photo by: Edi Israel/Flash90

Photo of the Day

One Small Step for (a) Man, One Big Step for Buzz Aldrin

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Buzz Aldrin (85), the second man on the moon, will again be following in Neil Armstrong’s footprints, when he visits Israel for the first time this coming October.

Aldrin will be coming for the International Astronautical Congress, in Jerusalem.

The IAC conference is held in a different country each year, and this time Israel gets the honor.

The conference will be held at the Jerusalem International Convention Center from October 12-16.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Bringing Moshe to the Moon

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

In 1971, Apollo 15 Commander David Scott left a Christian Bible on the surface of the moon. Today, a group of Israeli scientists is trying to add a Sefer Torah to the lunar holy book collection.

According to a report in New Scientist, a group called “Torah on the Moon” has contacted groups in Israel and Spain to inquire about landing scroll on the lunar surface. The groups are competing for a $30 million prize, sponsored by Google, to be awarded to the first group to land a robot on the moon.

New Scientist cited confirmation from the European Space Agency that the group has asked the ESA to create a capsule to protect the Torah scroll. The report said the container would protect the Torah from radiation and temperature changes for at least 10,000 years.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Adelson Donates $16.4 Million for Israeli Launch to the Moon

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The Sheldon Adelson Family Foundation has contributed $16.4 million to the Israel Lunar Project to build the world smallest spacecraft that SpaceIL hopes to land on the moon.

The donation is nearly half of the project’s budget, estimated at $36 million.

SpaceIL is an Israeli non-profit founded at the end of 2010 by three young engineers with the dream of landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the moon. They entered the Google Lunar X Prize (GLPX) competition, and SpaceIL now has a full-time staff of 20 people, more than 250 volunteers and a network of hundreds of renowned academics, business leaders, and industry experts.

SpaceIL hopes its technological breakthroughs spur a new wave of commercial space-related industries in Israel.

“Sheldon and I are very excited to be supporting SpaceIL in an effort to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. As an Israeli-born physician and scientist, I am especially proud of the positive impact the pursuit of this goal will have on the next generation of young Israelis, and frankly all young people, as it serves an important example of the role science and technology continue to play in our everyday lives and across the world,” said Dr. Miriam Adelson.

Yanki Margalit, Chairman of SpaceIL Public Board, remarked that, “We will be able to significantly expand our impact and create the first blue and white moment of the 21st century.”

SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman added, “SpaceIL intends to expand its educational program and invest the needed resources in building the spacecraft. We only get one chance to succeed, so we intend to do all we can to increase our odds.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli Lunar Mission and Chicago’s iCenter Join Hands

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The Chicago-based iCenter, a national Israel education organization, has teamed up with SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit seeking to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon, to develop a series of educational materials to engage North American Jewish students in Israeli science, technology, and space flight.

SpaceIL is the only Israeli team currently competing in the Google Lunar X Prize competition to become the first team to successfully land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon and send pictures back to Earth.

Anne Lanski, executive director of the iCenter, said in a statement that SpaceIL “represents an unprecedented opportunity to engage North American Jewish youth in an inspiring narrative of contemporary Israel.”

“At a time when Jewish educators and communal leaders are eager to connect youth with the richness, diversity, and sophistication of contemporary Israeli life, SpaceIL provides a unique portal, showcasing the leadership and ingenuity of Israelis in science and technology, and the Israeli spirit of overcoming long odds to accomplish great things,” Lanski said.

JNS News Service

Negev Popular Site for Spectacular Perseid Meteors Sunday (Video)

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Mitzpeh Ramon, the highest point in the Negev and pollution-free, will be one of the most popular sites Sunday night for viewing the annual Perseid meteor shower, which this year is billed as one of the most spectacular ever.

The Annual August show occurs when planet Earth crosses the path of the Swift–Tuttle comet. Ice and dust traveling at around 130,000 miles per hour burn up as they enters Earth’s atmosphere, leaving blazing tails in the dark skies at night.

Hostels are providing guided tours along the Ramon Crater to view the shower, and tours also are available at Timna Park, north of Eilat.

The light show is supposed to better than ever this year because the moon is in its beginning phase, whereas next year it will be more than half-full when the showers occur.

Telescopes will be available for use at Mitzpeh Ramon, but the Perseid show can be seen with the naked eye. The best was to get a look at the showers is to lay flat on the back and keep the eyes wide open. No catnapping allowed.

The most intense showers are just before dawn.

The meteors appear to originate from a section of the sky located near the constellation Perseus. The size of the shooting stars ranges from that of a grain of sand to the size of a marble.

The Swift-Tuttle debris came closest to slamming into Earth in 1992 and a near-miss is calculated to occur more than 900 years into the future in 3044, when Earth will be “only” 1 million miles away.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/negev-popular-site-for-spectacular-perseid-meteors-sunday-video/2013/08/11/

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