Israel third on the moon

This article from Forbes says that all going well, by December 2012 a bunch of Israeli scientists will have landed a probe on the Lunar surface thereby making “the Jewish State the third nation (after the U.S. and Russia) to land a probe on the moon.” The story may confuse some people or lead them astray due to some subtle American linguistic imperialism. Israel may in fact be the third, but only after the Soviet Union and the US, not the other way around. The Soviets landed first, with Luna 2 in 1959. It wasn’t until Ranger 4 in April 1962 that the US reached the moon.

Funny thing is that after July of this year, the US will be incapable of launching their own astronauts into orbit. Only Russia’s Soyuz will remain.