Tonight, SpaceX will be launching the first private lunar mission ever, the Israeli company SpaceIL's Beresheet (Genesis) Lander, along with an Indian communications satellite they hope will bring greater connectivity to rural areas, and the US Air Force (USAF) Research Lab's S5 satellite, which is meant to keep track of space junk currently in orbit.
SpaceIL Beresheet: The World's First Private-Enterprise Moon Mission
Once SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket brings the lunar lander into orbit around the earth, Beresheet will leave SpaceX behind and make its way, alone, to the surface of the moon.
After making its way to the moon, Beresheet will have to perform a soft landing on the surface, after which it will photograph everything it can and study the surrounding environment.
SEE ALSO: ISRAEL PREPARES FOR THE NATION'S FIRST LUNAR MISSION
Should it successfully land, Israel will join an elite company of nations who have put landers on the moon, the United States, the former Soviet Union, and the Peoples Republic of China. What's even more amazing about SpaceIL is that all three of these nation-state operations that have made it to the moon so far have had enormous capital backing up their missions.
Google Lunar X-Prize Competitor
Part of SpaceIL's legacy is that Beresheet began as an entry into Google's Lunar X-Prize Competition so it has already gone through a rigorous development cycle to get to where it is, but soon they'll be able to boast that their hard work got them all the way to the moon.