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Beresheet, world’s first private lunar mission, fails in attempt to land successfully

Beresheet, world’s first private lunar mission, fails in attempt to land successfully

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.”

We have closely followed the launch of the world’s first private mission to the moon, Israel’s Bereseet. It entered the Moon’s orbit a few days ago and attempted to land today at approximately 3:30 pm Eastern.

Sadly, the attempt failed.

“We have a failure of the spacecraft,” said Opher Doron, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries’ space division, which collaborated on building the spacecraft. The mood at the control center was somber but still celebratory.

“Well we didn’t make it, but we definitely tried,” said Morris Kahn, an Israeli telecommunications entrepreneur and president of SpaceIL, the nonprofit that undertook the mission. “I think we can be proud.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who attended the event at the mission’s command center in Yehud, Israel, said, “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.”.

I watched the attempted landing on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s live feed. The first few stages seemed to go smoothly.

The craft event sent back another selfie.

However, at 149 km, an issue arose with the main engine. Despite the fact the main engine returned, communications were lost and the team officially announced the landing failure shortly thereafter.

The Times of Israel is reporting the spacecraft appeared to have crashed.


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Good of them to try.

Metaphor for the peace process. Israel takes all the steps they can, but the Palis reject at the end

In all of Leslie’s posts, I believe km (kilometers) should be m (meters).

    alaskabob in reply to Perfesser33. | April 11, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    We lost a Mars probe when someone confused miles and kilometers…smacko! AND, let us not forget launching Hubble with an untested mis-ground mirror when the back up mirror from another company was PERFECT but on … the….ground.

      Milhouse in reply to alaskabob. | April 11, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Actually pound-force seconds and newton seconds.

        alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | April 11, 2019 at 9:26 pm

        “A navigation team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory used the metric system of millimeters and meters in its calculations, while Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Denver, which designed and built the spacecraft, provided crucial acceleration data in the English system of inches, feet and pounds.

        As a result, JPL engineers mistook acceleration readings measured in English units of pound-seconds for a metric measure of force called newton-seconds.”

        You get an “A”… can I get a B+?

          tom_swift in reply to alaskabob. | April 12, 2019 at 12:14 am

          Acceleration is in meters per second squared. Or feet per second squared.

          Newton-seconds is total impulse.

          I never believed the story. Nobody—not even Lockheed Martin at its corporate worst—would express total impulse in pound-seconds. That’s one of those ridiculous “furlongs per fortnight” measurements, only not as funny.

          alaskabob in reply to alaskabob. | April 12, 2019 at 11:04 am

          We are left with either a large screw up or an interesting question of cover up. Ray Bradbury was unavailable for comment. There was the cute cartoon from the first Viking mission where the first picture was a sign..maybe address..The sign read…Ray Bradbury.

      JusticeDelivered in reply to alaskabob. | April 11, 2019 at 9:28 pm

      I learned to use a slide rule at 13 years old, mistakes were typically one or two orders of magnitude.

        alaskabob in reply to JusticeDelivered. | April 12, 2019 at 12:09 am

        Yep…. I had only a slide rule to slug my way through chemistry and nuc engineering degrees. At least the slide rule is “solid state” … that is …the only power failure to occur using it is between the ears.

“. . . So I think I shall come down.”

“How?” asked you.

Winnie-the-Pooh hadn’t thought about this. If he let go of the string, he would fall — bump — and he didn’t like the idea of that. So he thought for a long time, and then he said:

“Christopher Robin, you must shoot the balloon with your gun. Have you got your gun?”

“Of course I have,” you said. “But if I do that, it will spoil the balloon,” you said. “But if you don’t,” said Pooh, “I shall have to let go, and that would spoil me.” When he put it like this, you saw how it was, and you aimed very carefully at the balloon, and fired.

“Ow!” said Pooh.

“Did I miss?” you asked.

“You didn’t exactly miss,” said Pooh, “but you missed the balloon.”

Colonel Travis | April 11, 2019 at 6:47 pm

Amazing we did this 50 years ago.
Hope Israel tries again.

Ever wonder how many sailing ships were lost in the age of exploration?

If landing on the moon were easy, everybody would be doing it.

    redc1c4 in reply to snopercod. | April 11, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    here, hold my beer…


    JusticeDelivered in reply to snopercod. | April 12, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I don’t recall who, but in one of the earlier posts on this mission someone was arguing it should be easy now. The truth is that vacuum tube technology was less susceptible to radiation damage than modern electronics. The same is true for relays. Comparing much modern technology to post WW2 is like apples and oranges.

The subhead at the NY Times made a snotty comment about the risks of fast and cheap. Apparently they didn’t notice that even crashing something on the Moon is more of an achievement than any writer for the NYT will ever have.

Just goes to prove how racist and hateful Israel really is. They could have reached out to Tlaib and Ilhan to become the first women on the moon in a gesture of peace and harmony………..but noooooo.

Standard Operating Procedure in the aerospace biz is to declare it a software problem.

Goes to show how amazing the US landing on the moon was. That not only landed OK, it was with personnel, it also took off and came back! The onboard Apollo flight computer had less computing power than an Apple Watch. I suspect that the huge Mission Control computer amounted to less than an average new smartphone.
Mission Control had the right people, full of the Right Stuff.

still, for a *private* mission this is amazing.