NASA, Israel Space Agency Sign Agreement for Commercial Lunar Cooperation

Lunar lander (Credit: SpaceIL)

BREMEN, Germany (NASA PR) — NASA has signed an agreement with the Israel Space Agency (ISA) to cooperatively utilize the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL’s commercial lunar mission, expected to land on the Moon in 2019.

NASA will contribute a laser retroreflector array to aid with ground tracking and Deep Space Network support to aid in mission communication. ISA and SpaceIL will share data with NASA from the SpaceIL lunar magnetometer installed aboard the spacecraft.

The instrument, which was developed in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Science, will measure the magnetic field on and above the landing site. The data will be made publicly available through NASA’s Planetary Data System.  In addition, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will attempt to take scientific measurements of the SpaceIL lander as it lands on the Moon.

The agreement was signed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Avi Blasberger, Director of the Israel Space Agency. Dr. Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL, was also present.

“I’m thrilled to extend progress in commercial cooperation we’ve made in low-Earth orbit to the lunar environment with this new agreement with the Israel Space Agency and SpaceIL,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Innovative partnerships like this are going to be essential as we go forward to the Moon and create new opportunities there.”

SpaceIL competed in the Google Lunar X Prize, and continues to work toward landing the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. Together, NASA and SpaceIL will collaborate on analyzing the scientific data returned from the mission.

The agreement exemplifies the innovative approach that NASA and its international partners are taking to team up with commercial partners to advance important science and exploration objectives on and around the Moon.

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  • Maxtrue

    Frankly, defeating the S-300 and Russian EW would be a better investment of money. Just saying…..

  • duheagle

    Not exactly an either-or proposition.

    In any event, the Israelis have been able to defeat S-300’s for over a decade. They did so in 2007 during the airstrike that took out a joint Syrian-North Korean weapons plant that was set up to make use of Saddam’s radioactives.

  • Maxtrue

    Yes, yes, but that wasn’t the same system as today or were there advanced EW present. Since I don’t see how the Russian air defense themselves going forward won’t be subjected to “attack”, this is an escalating situation. The Russians have EW that can damage assets outside of Syria. And surrounding Syria are assets that can obliterate S-300s. Its going to cost a lot extending Israeli air defense to counter S-300s OVER SYRIA perfect their hypersonics and create quick replacement for systems and satellites damaged by Russian efforts.

  • Maxtrue

    Also it was a reactor they were building and the question of Assad’s HEU existed before Saddam was removed. Clapper went from claiming Saddam transferred HEU to Assad as a Bush official with experience in analysis of satellite photos, to being hired by Obama for a top job he still thinks he has. Once an Obama official, he never mentioned the transfers again.

    He should have asked himself if China was listening into to his phone