SpaceIL plans to land hopping robot on the moon by end of 2018

Isreali startup SpaceIl plans to launch a lunar lander and robotic rover to the moon in December, 2018. SpaceIL had been competing in the Lunar Xprize contest. The Lunar XPrize had a few deadline extensions but was finished with no winner earlier this year.

The SpaceIL spacecraft is about the size of a dishwasher.

SpaceIL robot will Hop on the moon

While the other Google Lunar XPRIZE teams developed large rovers to move the required 500 meters on the Moon’s surface, in order to conserve mass, SpaceIL developed the concept of a space hop: to have the spacecraft land and then take off again with the fuel left in its propulsion system, and then perform another landing 500 meters away.

Spacecraft Subsystems and efficiency

In order to conserve mass, SpaceIL developed the idea of a space hop: to have the spacecraft land and then take off again with the fuel left in its propulsion system, and then perform another landing 500 meters away.

For extra efficiency, SpaceIL believes in multifunctional use of every single part of the spacecraft. For example, the propulsion system will be used both for landing and for performing the 500 meter hop.

SpaceIL will be launched by a SpaceX rocket.

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