The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Thursday’s launch of Israel’s first mission beyond Earth’s orbit. SpaceIL’s lander blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and now is on its way to becoming the first commercial lander to reach the Moon’s surface.
“Congratulations to SpaceIL and the Israel Space Agency. This is a historic step for all nations and commercial space as we look to extend our collaborations beyond low-Earth orbit and on to the Moon.
“In July, I was in Israel and was very impressed with their commitment to expanding their role in the world’s space community. As we better understand Israel’s capabilities and the innovative work of their private industry, we know they’ll be an even stronger international partner in the future, one vital to the success of extending commercial space to the Moon and eventually on to Mars and beyond. There are terrific opportunities awaiting Israel and all of us in advancing the space frontier.”
Learn more about this mission, and NASA’s role in it, at: