Israeli team assesses what went wrong with lunar landing

17 April, 2019, 11:55 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • Morris Kahn speaks on Channel 12

After its failed attempt to land, SapceIL's spacecraft Beresheet crashed onto the moon surface Thrusday, but the project is not destined to end there.

The aim of the mission was to take pictures and conduct experiments.

China's Chang'e-4 made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon on 3January, after a probe sent by Beijing made a lunar landing elsewhere in 2013.

Third, though Israel didn't become the fourth country to complete a controlled landing, it did become the seventh nation in the world to orbit the moon, and it got oh-so-close to the surface.

The main Sponsor and Chairman of SpaceIL, Morris Kahn, said: "in view of the large global support that I have received for this project, I decided for a new project: Beresheet 2". "I hope this time we will succeed", he said at a cabinet meeting.

"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.

"We are actually going to build a new spacecraft, we're going to put it on the moon and we are going to complete the mission", Kahn said.

The audience outside had been through a turbulent journey themselves as they watched the first part of the landing go to plan.

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Beresheet project engineers worked to understand what had gone wrong in the final, fatal seconds before the spacecraft crashed.

A girl poses for a photo next to a poster of the SpaceIL spacecraft in Netanya, Israel, Thursday, April 11, 2019. The mission was over.

SpaceIL's craft failed to soft-land during its final descent when, in the last moments, it experienced a main engine failure and lost communication with mission control at Israel Aerospace Industries in Yehud.

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"We are all very exited", a senior IAI engineer, identified only as Daniel because of the sensitivity of his job, told Israeli public radio four hours before the scheduled landing time.

Instead of sitting alone on a rocket that would put it on the ideal trajectory to the Moon, it blasted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket along with a communications satellite and an experimental aircraft.

"Today we are putting all those dreams on the spaceship like you would take a note and put it in the Kotel, wishing for a bright future", said Yonatan Winetraub, using the Hebrew word for the Western Wall.

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