Technical Glitch Caused Israel's Beresheet Spacecraft To Crash On The Moon

Morris Kahn speaks on Channel 12

"I expect Israel's next creation to complete the assignment for us".

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashed onto the moon on April 11, after a series of technical failures during its final descent, shattering hopes of a historic controlled landing on the lunar surface.

In total, the spacecraft will traverse 6.5 million kilometers (roughly 4 million miles), among the longest distances ever traveled to the moon. Barely the size of a washing machine, the humble Beresheet, which is among the smallest spacecraft to target moon-landing, was supposed to touch down on a plain of solidified lava, known as the Sea of Serenity.

"We'll try again, and next time we'll just try it more gently".

Beresheet-Genesis in Hebrew- started as a private attempt by Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL, which Kahn now chairs, to win Google's 10-year space race competition Lunar X Prize. "This is a tremendous achievement for SpaceIL, and we intend to launch Beresheet 2, which the state will also participate in building, proving our capabilities", he added.

"The price of a mistake here could have been infinite", said Opher Doron, space division general manager at Israel Aerospace Industries, which functioned with SpaceIL on the project. Israel would be the fourth country to land on the moon.

Beresheet was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on February 22 with a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk's private US-based SpaceX company. "True, not as we had hoped, but we will succeed in the end".

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Beresheet will land on a plain of lava, if all goes according to plan.

And though the contest deadline passed a year ago on March 31, 2018 and the $20 million prize went unclaimed, SpaceIL chose to push forth with the project with the aim of "showing the next generation that anything is possible - that even our small country can push the limits of imagination".

SpaceIL expects the next generation of Israelis wills inspire to study engineering and science.

They included drawings by children, pictures of Israeli symbols like the flag, Israeli songs and a booklet written by a Jewish man of his personal account of the Holocaust.

"The second I heard their dream, I wanted to support it", said Kahn. "We would have been turning in distance toward a sun orbit that no one wants to enter".

Phil Larson of the University of Colorado, who was a space adviser in the Obama White House, said the Israeli effort underlines that "space is still extremely hard, and landing human made objects on other worlds is an utmost challenge".

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