Israel’s Beresheet probe crashed into the lunar surface

The first privately funded mission to the Moon failed. During the landing attempt, the main engine malfunctioned and the Israeli Beresheet probe smashed into the lunar surface.

The Beresheet probe was launched into space on February 22 by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. After seven weeks of subrogy the spacecraft reached its final orbit, at a distance of 15 kilometersoin from the lunar surface, with whichowhich was to carry out the landing maneuver.

The goal of the mission was to land on the Moon, take photographic documentation and conduct several experimentsow. Had it succeeded, Israel would have become the fourth country toore reached the lunar surface. So far, China, Russia and the US have succeeded in this feat.

But the mission was also the first lunar mission to be financed with funds from theoin private. The spacecraft was built wspolnie by the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL and the state-owned company Israel Aerospace Industries. The project was also supported by private investorsow with South African billionaire Morris Kahn in the lead. The total budget of the mission was about 100 millionoin dollarsow.

SpaceIL participated in the Google Lunar X Prize, organized by the X PRIZE Foundation and funded by Google. The winner of the competition was to be the company thatora will be the first to place a rover on the Moon’s surface and send images from our natural satellite to Earth. One of the conditions of theoin the competition was to use only private funds. HeadoThe main prize was 20 millionow dollarsow.

The competition was unsuccessful, nevertheless SpaceIL, thanks to Kahn’s funding, decided to continue the project and realize a headoThe primary goal of landing on the surface of the Moon. – I don’t want to be the richest man in the graveyard. I would like to feel that I used my money productively – mowished several years ago by Kahn.

Weighing more than poThe Beresheet probe (the name was taken from the first words of theoin Genesis and means: in the beginning, Genesis) began the landing maneuver yesterday at 9 pm Polish time. But from the beginning, nothing went right for the controller’soin flight.

During the refusal obedience maneuverowished to achieve the mainoThe probe’s main engine. Flight controllers proThey had to restart the computer to start the engine. The operation was successful, but wkrotce later contact was lost with the ship, ktorgo has not been recovered. The Beresheet probe only managed to take and transmit to Earth one final photo from an altitude of more than 20 kilometers before crashingow over the surface of the Moon (photo illustrating the text).

– We did not succeed, but prowe were,” said the headoproject sponsor Morris Kahn. – I think our achievements are really great and we can be proud of – added.

NASA administrator Thomas Zurbuchen also commented on the failure. – Space is difficult, but worth the risk. We continue to strive to inspire others and achieve greatness. This time we thank the SpaceIL team for inspiring us. We look forward to future opportunities to supportol exploration of the moon – Zurbuchen wrote.