Israeli Beresheet Lander Crashes onto Moon, New Mission Planned

Israeli Beresheet
lunar lander took this image at an altitude of 13.7 miles (22 kilometers) above
the moon on April 11, 2019. Credit: SpaceIL

Ken Kremer — SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM – 12 April
2019



KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL- After a gallant effort worthy of
the celestial goal the small privately built Israeli moon lander Beresheet fortified with
high hopes failed in the final minutes of its autonomous descent to Earth’s
nearest neighbor and crash landed onto the lunar surface Thursday afternoon,
April 10 – just as the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket was battling hefty upper
altitude winds over NASA’s Kennedy Space Center that ultimately grounded its maiden
commercial launch for 24 hours. 



The Beresheet team led by main investor Morris Kahn soon said
they would try again in the future with a Beresheet 2 mission. 



Beresheet, which translates as ‘Genesis’, began malfunctioning
at an altitude of approximately
14 kilometers (8.7 miles) above the moon as the probe was transmitting
telemetry and photos during the descent phase. 



“We had a failure of the spacecraft,” said Opher Doron, general
manager of the space division at Israel Aerospace Industries, which was
responsible for building Beresheet. 



“We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully.  We are the seventh country to orbit the moon,
and the fourth to reach the moon’s surface, and it’s a tremendous achievement
up to now.”



The Beresheet lunar lander mission is a joint
endeavor funded and built by Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace
Industries (IAI). 



Their engineering teams said
preliminary data suggests “a technical glitch in one of Beresheet’s components
triggered the chain of events   ..  that caused the main engine of the spacecraft
to malfunction.”



The unidentified malfunction
prevented the main engine from firing properly and slowing the spacecrafts velocity
fr a soft landing.

Eventually the craft
restarted the main engine but it was not in time and Beresheet crashed into the
lunar surface.
“By that time, its
velocity was too high to slow down and the landing could not be completed as planned.”
 

A portion of the last image transmitted by Beresheet before
crashing on the Moon. Credit: SpaceIL

The team is analyzing
all the data to figure out exactly what went wrong and what changes and improvements
are required. 



“At 150 meters (492
feet) from the ground, when the connection with the spacecraft was lost completely,
Beresheet was moving vertically at 500 km/h (310.7 miles) to the inevitable
collision with the lunar surface. Comprehensive tests will be held next week to
gain a better understanding of the events.”



The hopes of the nation of Israel and space enthusiasts
around the world rode along on the daring mission. 



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was also on hand
in the control center following along every move and encouraging the team. 



After the mission failed,
SpaceIL Chairman Morris Kahn announced
plans to begin building a follow on  Beresheet 2 spacecraft and “intends to lead
the second Israeli spacecraft to achieve a lunar landing.” 



“This is part of my
message to the younger generation: Even if you do not succeed, you get up again
and try,” Kahn said in a statement and video. 



Kahn said he plans to
form a new group of donors to support Beresheet 2, has appointed a new
Beresheet 2 team and will lead the project, which will begin immediately,
according to the statement.
 


Israeli’s first ever mission to the moon – Beresheet – had
been on course to complete a thrilling first of its kind lunar touchdown April
11, that also counts as the first ever commercial mission to land on the Moon.  

Despite
the crash landing the Beresheet mission marks a historic achievement for
Israel- becoming only the seventh country to send a probe into lunar orbit- and
for commercial space activities as this tiny probe is the first privately funded
mission to reach the Moon.  



After years of planning and preparations,
Israel is finally set to land on the moon’” said Space IL after completing the
last orbit adjustment maneuvers before the planned landing. 



“SpaceIL and IAI have
been working all night on last calculations after the successful maneuver
yesterday evening.”



If all had gone well the lunar touchdown was targeted at Mare
Serenitatis
(Sea of Serenity) on the Moon’s northern
hemisphere on the upper right side as seen from Earth.



I’ve been interviewed on the i24 Israeli TV news channel
providing commentary and analysis since Beresheet was launched some 7 weeks ago.



Watch my live on set interview at i24 after lunar capture
last week:




Video Caption: Following successful
lunar orbit capture maneuver by the commercial Israeli lunar lander
spacecraft 
Beresheet
on April 4, here’s full interview
with Ken Kremer of Space UpClose on i24 TV News live on set in Times Square NYC
with Anchor Derricke Dennis on April 5, 2019 discussing the prospects of what’s
next with the difficult moon landing and what it means for future exploration of
the Moon by Israel and potential cooperation with NASA and other entities.   Beresheet
landing is slated for April 11. It launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on
21 Feb. 2019 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.  Credit: i24



Liftoff
of the
private
Beresheet moon lander for Israel atop a
recycled SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket took place in the
evening of F
eb.
21 at 8:45 p.m. EST
(0145 GMT Friday) from Space
Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL. 



It flew as a rideshare payload bolted to the primary payload
– namely
the
Nusantara Satu communications satellite for Indonesia. 



Watch my launch video here:

Video Caption: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying privately funded Israeli Beresheet moon
lander and Indonesian Nusantara Satu comsat
roars to life Feb. 21, 2019, 8:45 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex-40
on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
– as seen in this video camera stationed at pad. Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com



To date only three countries have successfully
landed on the Moon- the US, Russia and China and those were all government run
missions.



Beresheet was developed at a cost of almost $100
million as the world’s first privately funded and developed moon lander.



Long duration streak shot of SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 1st
launch of 2019 from Florida Space Coast delivering Nusantara Satu communications
satellite to Earth orbit for Indonesia and the privately funded Beresheet moon
launder on lunar trajectory for Israel after Feb 21, 2019 nighttime liftoff at
8:45 PM EST from Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
FL. 
Credit: Ken
Kremer/kenkremer.com/spaceupclose.com

Beresheet, which in
Hebrew means “genesis” or “in the beginning” was one of the competitors for the
now defunct Google Lunar XPrize.



The Falcon 9 launch propelled Beresheet onto the proper
trajectory to begin a series of 4 elongating long looping orbits to gradually
reach the moon.



Watch my post thruster maneuver interview on i24 Isreali TV News
on March 19 here:

With lunar orbit capture of
the Israeli lunar lander spacecraft 
#Beresheet
then upcoming on April 4, here’s
my full interview on i24 TV News live with Anchor 
Michelle Makori on March 19, 2019 discussing the
status of Beresheet’s last major thruster firing + landing prospects Apr 11.
And potential US space cooperation with Brazil as a rocket launch base.
Beresheet landing is slated for April 11. It launched on a 
#SpaceX #Falcon9 rocket on 21 Feb. 2019 from Cape
Canaveral Air Force Station, FL.



Watch my post launch
interview on i24 Isreali TV News here:





For more on all this
Fox 35 Orlando interviewed me about the
Nusantara Satu/Beresheet moon lander launch and Mr. Steven’s arrival and fairing recovery
goals. 













Meanwhile the Falcon 9 first stage that
launched Beresheet and then safely touched down on the OCISLY droneship at sea
arrived into Port Canaveral by tugboat Sunday morning, Feb 24, just 2.5 days
after blastoff.  Read my story photos
here.





Watch for Ken’s
continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,
Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from the Kennedy Space
Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and Wallops Flight Facility,
Virginia.



Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and
Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer
– email: ken at kenkremer.com



Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about
space topics.



………….

Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events



Learn more about the upcoming/recent SpaceX Demo-1, Falcon 9 Nusantara Satu launch, USAF GPS 3-01, SpaceX Falcon 9/CRS-16 launch
to ISS,  NASA missions, ULA Atlas &
Delta launches, SpySats and more at Ken’s upcoming outreach events at Quality Inn Kennedy Space Center, Titusville,
FL, evenings:



Apr
12
: “SpaceX Falcon 9 Demo-1
and
Nusantara
Satu launch,
Dragon CRS-16 resupply
launch to ISS, SpaceX Falcon GPS 3-01, SpaceX Falcon Heavy & Falcon 9
launches, upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 USAF GP3 3-01, NRO & USAF Spysats, SLS,
Orion, Boeing and SpaceX Commercial crew capsules, OSIRIS-Rex, Juno at Jupiter,
InSight Mars lander, Curiosity and Opportunity explore Mars, NH at Pluto, Kuiper
Belt and more,” Kennedy Space Center Quality Inn, Titusville, FL, evenings. Photos for sale


Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

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