SpaceIL, an Israeli run space program, has stated that it will no longer be sending spacecraft to the Moon. After crash landing on their first attempt early this year, the team said they would try once again.
During this time, they have had a change of plans and now wish for a different, more challenging task as stated by the organization in a tweet in which they informed us that the Beresheet spacecraft would be repurposed.
First Israeli lunar mission failed
The original Beresheet mission took place on the 11th of April this year. Its mission was to land on the lunar surface successfully but slipped up moments before doing so.
They have made the following comment on the crash landing: “According to preliminary investigation of the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet’s landing maneuver, it appears that a manual command was entered into the spacecraft’s computer. That led to a chain reaction in the spacecraft, during which the main engine switched off, which prevented it from activating further.”
Crash landing aside, SpaceIL is quite pleased with its first mission and is calling it an overall success. Their perception is that it was a “record-breaking journey” that has made a second lunar landing attempt not worth the trouble. Instead, they wish to focus on a new challenge that is more difficult to attempt.
SpaceIL gave up on sending more lunar landers
The Moon will still have visitors, though. Plenty, in fact, as private organizations have prepared lunar missions that will start from 2020. Japanese run iSpace and American-based Astrobotic will be some of the companies that will send a craft to the Moon, with NASA following the wave as well, by preparing two private companies to undertake these missions.
Orbital Beyond and Intuitive Machines have been selected to send landing craft to the lunar surface. That will be done to further NASA’s study of the Earth’s only natural orbiting satellite.
SpaceIL renounced to send an Israeli first lunar mission.