On Saturday, just two days after the Beresheet spacecraft crashed into the moon, space president said the organization would move on. From this week, Morris Kahn said that a new workgroup would learn from its failures and start developing a new spacecraft Beresheet 2.
"We'll build a new spacecraft, we'll put it on the moon, and we will complete the mission, "said Kahn, a billionaire who personally donated $ 40 million to the private Israeli operation.
So far, SpaceIL has provided some additional details about the project, for example when it can start. The original project started winning Google Lunar XPrize, started eight years ago.
In a reddit AMA on Sunday, one of the team's engineers, Ben Nathaniel, added this about the new proposal. "Beresheet 2 was only once announced. It will be a big project that takes great planning, coordination and last but not least financing. Currently, there are so many factors that we cannot yet predict when it will be launched. We hope still being the first private company to land on the moon. "
Even this weekend, SpaceIL provided some preliminary data on what might have gone wrong with the landing attempt – which was done autonomously. The first technical issue arose about 14 km above the Moon's surface, triggering an event chain that led to the spacecraft's main engine failing temporarily. (This may have involved one of Beresheet's IMU, or inertial measurement devices, but so fair SpaceIL has not given a reason). At this altitude, the spaceship was already engaged in landing on the moon.
Finally, the main engine's function returned, but at that time the spacecraft was only 150 meters above the ground and moved 500 km / h to the surface. It was of course a terminal speed. SpaceIL engineers intend to carry out "extensive testing" this week to better understand the sequence of events that triggered a temporary failure of the main engine.
Meanwhile, the project has won plaudits for openness and willingness to fail in public opinion. NASA has had a similar policy since the beginning of its exploration efforts.
"I would like to thank @TeamSpaceIL for making this landing with millions looking around the world, despite knowing the risks," NASA's scientist, Thomas Zurbuchen, tweeted after the landing attempt. "We do the same because we believe in the value of worldwide exploration and inspiration. We encourage all international and commercial explorers to do the same!" This seemed like a too subtle stumble upon China, which recently landed on the Moon's top, but merely announced the fact several hours after the mission's success.
Listing image by SpaceIL