Israeli Lunar Lander Misses Maneuver Due to Computer Glitch

Olive Hawkins
February 28, 2019

It will be the first such space capsule to land on the moon as the result of a private initiative rather than a government-funded enterprise.

"During a [second] pre-maneuver phase of Beresheet, the spacecraft computer reset unexpectedly, and it was automatically canceled".

The engineering teams are analyzing the situation. From the beginning the designers and developers of SpaceIL and partner Israel Aerospace Industries had a tough time due to lack of experience in any form of lunar mission.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying Israel's first spacecraft created to land on the moon lifts off on the first privately-funded lunar mission at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, US, February 21, 2019. Beresheet would be the first Israeli spacecraft to travel beyond Earth orbit and the first private lander on the Moon.

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Beresheet ('Genesis' in English), the Jewish state's first lunar spacecraft, experienced some technical difficulties on Monday night. "At this time, the spacecraft's systems are working well, except for the known problem in the star tracker".

The lander will be captured by the Moon's gravitational field when the lander's orbit around the Earth takes it into close enough proximity to the Moon.

"Communication between the control center and the spacecraft remains as planned, and Beresheet continues its previous orbit until the next maneuver", SpaceIL representatives said in the statement. In-flight testing has revealed a "high sensitivity to blinding by the sun's rays in the star trackers", SpaceIL team members have said.

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