SpaceIL has received a $1M grant from billionaire Len Blavatnik. i24NEWS Emily Frances sat down with the co-founder of SpaceIL Kfir Damari about the possibility of taking “Israel back to the moon”
Story (related): Following the failed lunar landing of the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet, preliminary findings point to a technical malfunction in one of the built-in measurement gauges that led to the engine shutdown during the final descent.
According to the initial investigation of the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet`s landing maneuver, following a malfunction in the IMU (inertial measurement unit), a command was uploaded to the spacecraft, which ultimately caused the main engine to turn off as communication with the vessel was lost.
“I am proud of SpaceIL`s team of engineers for their wonderful work and dedication,” SpaceIL Chairman Mr. Morris Kahn said, commending the importance of the mission in light of the error.
“Such cases are an integral part of a complex and pioneering project. What is important now is to learn the best possible lessons from our mistakes and bravely continue forward. That’s the message we’d like to convey to the people in Israel and the entire world. This is the spirit of the Beresheet project.”
The SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) team is continuing its investigation of the mission and will release the final findings in the coming weeks.
Over the weekend, the makers of the first private spacecraft to orbit the Moon said they would launch a second attempt, after the Beresheet probe crashed on Thursday night.
“In light of all the support that I got, I decided that we`re going to establish Beresheet 2,” the 89-year old Kahn declared.
The lunar probe was launched into orbit by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on February 21 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The Israeli journey to the moon had some hiccups at various points in the mission. the On March 1, SpaceIL said it had successfully completed a key maneuver after experiencing a troublesome system glitch several days before.
Beresheet`s journey was completed after spanning 6.5 million kilometers in the course of 47 days to place the craft in an elliptical orbit just 15 kilometers away from the moon`s surface.
The project started as a potential entry for the Google Lunar XPrize, which in 2010 offered a $30-million reward to encourage scientists and entrepreneurs to offer relatively inexpensive lunar missions.
Until now, only global superpowers the United States, Russia, and China have been able to successfully land an object on the moon.
India hopes to become the next lunar country in the spring with its Chandrayaan-2 mission. It aims to put a craft with a rover onto the moon`s surface to collect data.