Israeli probe "Beresheet" crashes on the moon
Tel AvivThe hopes were great – and the disappointment is even greater: the Planned landing of an Israeli space probe on the moon has failed. "There was a defect in the spaceship," said Ofer Doron of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Thursday night.
According to the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL, operator of the probe, an important engine of the space probe "Beresheet" had failed in the landing maneuver. The communication with the probe was lost. However, Israel is the seventh country in the world that has managed to enter the orbit of the Moon.
Israel had hoped to land on the moon as the fourth nation after the great powers Russia, USA and China. It was the first privately funded mission of its kind.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes for a new attempt within two to three years. The Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn, the main sponsor, spoke of a "huge achievement" despite the failed landing. "We have every reason to be proud."
The probe had been circling Earth's Moon for nearly a week, mastering several important maneuvers. The landing in the area of the "sea of serenity", a moon sea, then drove them from the optimal point.
The spacecraft had begun its seven-week journey to Earthbird on February 22 at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, Florida. It was placed into Earth orbit by Tesla chief Elon Musk's Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX spacecraft.
The probe, weighing just under 600 kilos and 1.50 meters in height, was to place an Israeli flag on the moon and examine the magnetic field.
"Beresheet" is the Hebrew name of the 1st book of Genesis in the Bible. On board the unmanned probe, about the size of a washing machine, was a time capsule containing hundreds of digital files. Among them is also a Hebrew Bible, which is stored on a carrier in coin size.
The Soviet Union had succeeded in 1966 with the probe "Luna 9" the first moon landing. In the same year, the US space agency Nasa followed with "Surveyor 1". China moved in 2013 with the probe "Chang'e-3", which set off the rover "Yutu" on the moon.
Among other things, the Israeli SpaceIL wanted to create a prototype for future commercial moon landings. The construction of the probe cost the equivalent of 84 million euros. The money came mainly from private donors. SpaceIL also receives support from the Israel Space Agency (ISA) and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
SpaceIL signed an agreement with the German space company OHB at the beginning of the year. The target is future joint, commercial lunar missions. The Israeli organization also cooperates with the US space agency NASA.
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