SpaceIL’s Sparrow to launch
Originally conceived as part of the unclaimed Google Lunar X Prize, SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit organisation funded in part by the Israeli Space Agency (ISL), still plans to launch its entry this year in the form of its Sparrow spacecraft. Planned to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Sparrow aims to be captured in lunar orbit before attempting a soft landing on the surface in a two-day operation. Instruments on the 585-kilogram (1,300-pound) Sparrow craft include a magnetometer developed by the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Artist’s concept of Sparrow successfully landing on the Moon