Last night, while I was sleeping, Israel became just the fourth nation to go to the moon, joining Russia, China and of course, the United States. The spaceship is hitching a ride with the Falcon 9. Beresheet, Hebrew for Genesis, was the brainchild of three Israelis, a space engineer, a cyber security expert and a drone maker. About 10 years ago they were having a beer just south of Tel Aviv and decided to go to the moon.
Google had just offered 20 million dollars to any team who could land a rover on the moon and send back to earth, HD video. From the beginning the three Israelis were far ahead of everyone else. However, eventually Google backed out and they had to look for private funding.
After a short time, the Beresheet rover separated from the Falcon 9 and will begin its long solo journey to the moon. The goal is to land it on April 11, when there is a small window.
The Beresheet Rover has a time-capsule with Israeli songs, drawings from Israeli children, Israeli art and pictures of the Holy Land.