Israel had initially planned to become the 4th country to be able to land softly on moon and despite it not being able to make it on their first try, they have not given up on being able to achieve this fete. Beresheet mission first attempted its debut landing in April, but the computer glitch late in this process meant that spacecraft did not slow down properly during the descent. 6 months later, Israel aerospace manufacturer representative gave the people who were present for 70th International Astronautical Congress that is recap of what exactly went wrong as well as an introduction to what this nation hope is going to be possible.
Ehud Hayun, the space systems engineer at Israel Aerospace industries, that got to build spacecraft said that they are very proud and excited with Beresheet mission. It got to be the first of many. It was able to make them the 7th country to be able to orbit the moon, 4th to be able to attempt a landing. Slides that he presented added to the list which claims that Israel is a 3rd nation to be able to land very fast on the moon.
Beresheets got to design cheapest, with mission price tag coming at an estimated cost of $100 million. Hayun went on to add that they have little or even no redundancy in systems. This does make it super cheap but at the same time risky. However, this mission was not all smooth. It had to tackle numerous challenges as well as anomalies on way to the moon landing. Long and circuitous path to moon which allowed cheaper launch exposed spacecraft to extra radiation. Computer on board this spacecraft reset a limited number of times along this mission as well as reset it later in landing overrode vital patches, hence prompting landing anomaly.
Despite the hard landing, Israel does not have any intention to stop their quest to land on the moon. Later on, after the crash, SpaceIL organization that was behind this mission went on to suggest that it was going to target a completely different destination other than the moon. However, it is unclear what is going to happen on that front. This team is mainly behind Beresheet has stayed on and that they intend to go on and fly the new version of lander within 2-2.5 years.
Successor spacecraft is going to include some design tweaks that are meant to grow the mission’s odds of being able to land safely and softly.
This post was originally published on Financial Sector