Israel fails to make history as spacecraft crashes into moon right before touchdown
Just as Israel was about to make history by landing the first ever privately-owned lander on the moon, it crashed in its final stages.
Israeli space nonprofit SpaceIL was set to make history through its lunar lander called ‘Beresheet’ that was expected to land on the moon’s surface and would have made the country the fourth one to reach the surface of the moon.
However, the country was unable to make it since the craft experienced engine failure just when it was about to land on the surface during its final approach. “We have a failure of the spacecraft,” said Israel Aerospace Industries general manager Opher Doron, according to CNBC. “We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully,”
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Just as Beresheet was approaching the surface of the moon, the main engine failed and the lander was forced to reset the engine. With about 10km left to go only, the main engine cut out and Beresheet crashed into the moon while traveling at about 134m per second, wrote Futurism.
“We failed the first try, we’ll make it in the second… within two years we’ll try it again,” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
As per Engadget, the Beresheet was expected to measure the local magnetic field and use a NASA-made laser retroreflector array – eight mirrors with quartz cube corners – to relay its position to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter using light.
SpaceIL also tweeted a picture of the lander’s final approach just minutes before it lost contact with the craft. “We didn’t make it. But we definitely tried,” as per SpaceIL.
— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) April 11, 2019
Copyright Business Recorder, 2019