Beresheet’s launch on February 21, 2019 in Florida aboard a SpaceX rocket. Photo courtesy of SpaceIL

In an emotional and historic moment for Israel, the Beresheet unmanned spacecraft launches flawlessly in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 8:45pm February 21 (3:45am February 22 Israel time).

The countdown was recited in English in Florida, and in Hebrew at Israel Aerospace Industries’ control center in Yehud. The liftoff was watched live by tens of thousands of people on social media.

SpaceIL has six ground stations set up around the world to enable communication with Beresheet on its way to the moon and after landing.