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February 21, 2019 3:06 pm

Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Wishes Israel’s Space IL ‘Good Luck’ Ahead of ‘Beresheet’ Moon Launch


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The unmanned robotic explorer ‘Beresheet’ being loaded into a shipping container in Israel on Jan. 17, 2019. Photo: Tomer Levi.

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin wished the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL well on Thursday ahead of the launch of its unmanned robotic explorer, named “Beresheet,” to the moon.

“If the #SpaceIL mission is successful this Thursday, Israel will become the fourth country to land an aircraft on the moon. Good luck, Beresheet!” wrote the 89-year-old Aldrin, who was the lunar module pilot when he and fellow astronaut and mission commander Neil Armstrong became the first two humans to walk on the moon on July 21, 1969.

The Beresheet lander, whose name means “In the beginning” in Hebrew, was build by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

It is scheduled to lift off on Thursday evening from Cape Canaveral in Florida, the start of an eight-week journey to the moon’s surface, with a planned April 11 arrival.

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