On Friday, 22 February 2019, the earth will tremble and the sky will fill with smoke as the thunderous rockets lift the first Israeli mission to the moon into the heavens. And while for us this thrilling event signals the beginning of a great adventure, the mission actually began almost ten years ago.
Israel wants to be the fourth nation—after the Soviet Union, America and most recently China—to touch the moon and be touched by it. If all goes well, little Israel will reach the moon ahead of massive India, who is also aiming for the fourth spot in the coveted record books. In keeping with the size of the country, as the Israelis themselves say, the probe has the approximate dimensions of a side table, and it was financed by donations, not the state. So it is quite fitting that a small watch brand has placed its watch on this very special side table – that’s right, Maurice de Mauriac!
Since the mission is unmanned, there won’t be a Maurice de Mauriac on the moon (just yet). But on the ground, the watch has accompanied the engineers who have measured countless procedures and processes with our signature watch, the Chrono Modern, in order to precisely time the mission.
When the Bereshit spacecraft launches on Friday, it is only one payload among many in the SpaceX rocket, sharing space and cost, but not our imagination. No, our full attention will be on the cosmic side table. In the Tödistrasse 48, everyone at the atelier is on the edge of their seats. From Zurich, a rocket full of excitement will be launched on Friday that will accompany Bereshit for two months, when it gently touches down on the moon in April.
‘Bereshit’, which means Genesis, the first book of Moses in the Old Testament, will start from Cape Canaveral and take a digital Bible to the moon. The Europeans will be able to read it when they touch down on the moon in a few years.