Israel plans new moonshot after maiden mission fails


JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The aerospace company behind Israel’s failed first moonshot said on Saturday it would pursue a second mission with funds raised from private donors and the public.

FILE PHOTO: An image taken by Israel spacecraft, Beresheet, upon its landing on the moon, obtained by Reuters from Space IL on April 11, 2019. Courtesy Space IL/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

The robot craft Beresheet, built by non-profit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), crashed on its final descent on Thursday, dashing Israel’s hope of becoming the fourth country to manage a controlled lunar landing.

“I have had time to think, over the weekend, about what happened, and given all of the encouragement I got, and the support from people all over the world I have come tonight to announce a new project – Beresheet 2,” SpaceIL president and high-tech billionaire Morris Kahn told Israel’s Channel 12 TV.

The maiden mission cost about $100 million, most of it raised from private donors like Kahn. He said in the interview that Israeli government participation amounted to about $3 million.

Private donors were already pledging funds for the new project, Kahn said, but he added that money should come from the public for “a project of the people of Israel”.

“We will not rely on government support,” he said.

The Beresheet 2 task force would convene on Sunday, he said: “We began something that we shall complete, and we will place our flag on the moon.”

IAI said in a statement it would be happy to be part of further space missions in partnership with SpaceIL under Kahn’s leadership”.

So far, only three nations have succeeded in carrying out a controlled landing on the lunar surface – the United States, the Soviet Union and China.

Launched from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket two months ago, Beresheet – Hebrew for “Genesis” or “In the beginning” – would have been the first craft to land on the moon that was not the product of a government program.

(The story is refiled to fix typo in paragraph seven.)

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Angus MacSwan

Source link

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Pinterest valued at $12.7 billion in IPO, sign of tech demand after…
Boeing making 'steady progress' on path to certifying 737 MAX…
White House, Justice Department officials discussed Mueller report…
Yale study revives cellular activity in pig brains hours after death
Woods' Masters win earns man $1.2 million from first sports wager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *