Israel 7th country to complete Lunar Capture; SpaceIL President Morris Kahn confirms second mission.
Israel announced it would send a second spacecraft to the moon after last week’s mission failed. The announcement was made by SpaceIL’s President and main funder, Morris Kahn, on Saturday morning. The team, including engineers, mechanics and scientists, will meet this coming weekend to begin planning the mission. Kahn confirmed in a televised address, “In light of all the support I got from all over the world… I have decided we are going to establish Beersheet 2.0. We will build a new spacecraft and put it on the moon to complete our mission…”
On Thursday, Beresheet (meaning Genesis), Israel’s first spacecraft to the moon, failed to land. During the last 14 minutes of the mission, one of the engines was damaged and communication lost just minutes before the historic landing. While the mission was not successful, it placed Israel in history as the 7th country to complete a lunar orbit following the USA, EU, former USSR, Japan, China and India.
Speaking during the launch and following, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised Israel’s success and new place in history. He stated, “We will try again. We reached the moon but we want to land more softly and this will be on the next attempt. This very attempt is a tremendous achievement… we really are the fourth country to reach it. We will be the fourth country to land on the moon if we persist. From my point-of-view, the eagle has landed. The State of Israel has taken off. Next time it will be better. An Israeli spacecraft will land on the moon…” He added, “This is a tremendous achievement for SpaceIL, and we intend to launch Beresheet 2, which the state will also participate in building, proving our capabilities – this is the difference between winners and losers.”
Once Israel lands on the moon, its satellite will be used for scientific research and data gathering, mainly on the moon’s magnetic field using a magnetometer, by both Israel and NASA.
Photo: SpaceIL’s last photo taken of the moon Thursday, SpaceIL, 2019