SpaceX is rocketing the first private mission to the moon tonight

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida on Thursday night carrying Israel's first lunar lander on a mission that if successful will make the Jewish state only the fourth nation to ever to achieve a controlled touchdown on the moon's surface.

The Falcon 9 rocket soared into the Sky at a hard time for Elon Musk.

At the end of its brief mission, mission controllers plan to simply shut down the spacecraft, according to SpaceIL officials, leaving Beresheet as the latest piece of human hardware to litter the lunar landscape. Space Systems Loral took on that responsibility, signing up rideshare broker Spaceflight Inc. of Seattle, Washington, which then secured Israel's 600-kilogram Beresheet lander and the Air Force Research laboratory's 60-kilogram S5 smallsat.

It's expected to take about two months for the lander to reach the moon.

NASA, which has installed equipment on Beresheet to upload its signals from the Moon, said last week it aims to land instruments later this year or next year and that it is inviting private sector bids to build and launch the USA probes.

The modern day space race has also seen China land a rover on the far side of the moon.

In an incredible accomplishment, the Falcon Heavy's reused side boosters landed smoothly back down to Earth on two separate launchpads about 8 minutes in.

Once Beresheet completes its lunar mission, Israel would join superpowers China, Russia, and the United States in landing a spacecraft on the moon.

More news: Jussie Smollett Arrested for Allegedly Filing False Police Report
More news: Twin bombing in eastern Syria kills 20 including oil workers
More news: Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

SpaceIL's mission for the lander is to beam back photos and video, and to measure the magnetosphere.

Upon landing, Beresheet should transmit data from the moon for about two days.

The craft was developed by Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL as well as the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries.

The initial project was conceived in the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition to successfully land an unmanned probe on the Moon, which was eventually discontinued before a victor was declared since no competitors were able to complete their projects by the March 31, 2018, deadline.

"Nusantara Satu is Indonesia's first high-throughput satellite that will serve to improve internet connectivity in the region", SpaceX said in a press release. SSL built the satellite with chemical and electrical propulsion.

Adiwoso said 70 to 75 percent of Nusantara Satu's capacity is already spoken for, half of it for the Indonesian government and roughly a quarter for other customers, many of which PSN will transfer off of other operator's spacecraft.

The U.S., Russian Federation and China have all passed by or orbited the lunar surface before, but none have made a soft landing and taken photos, as this mission plans to do, TechCrunch reports. SSL is using an approach honed during a secret DARPA experiment past year that carried a smallsat into orbit aboard the geostationary communications satellite Hispasat-30W-6.

Related Articles