Beresheet, which is an unmanned spacecraft from Israeli, crashed while it attempted to land on the moon, because of a technical glitch, according to SpaceIL.
In some tweets from Friday, the company said that the engineers believed that the technical glitch was the one to cause the main engine to shut down, thing that made it impossible to slow the descent of the spacecraft.
The first technical problem appeared at 14 km (that’s about 8.7 miles) above the moon. It lost the communications with the control room from Israel during the landing phase. At about 150 meters, when the connection with the spacecraft was lost, it was moving with 500 km/h, thing that made the collision inevitable. The engineers made the restart of the communications possible, but officials said that it was all too late, and it was already moving too fast for it to land properly.
Beresheet was the first privately funded moon mission. The name is a reference to the first words of the Bible, written in Hebrew. It translates to “In the beginning”.
The spacecraft was launched in February and it was supposed to take a journey of seven weeks to reach the moon. Before going to the moot, it circled the Earth multiple times. In total, the spacecraft has traveled about 4 million miles in its journey. However, before making the controlled landing on the moon, it crashed – just moments before.
The Israeli team was trying to be the 4th national space agency to land the moon. Only China, USA and the former Soviet Union have managed to do this before. If the entire thing had worked according to the plan, this landing would have been the very first private enterprise to get to the moon with a controlled landing, with a small spacecraft and a small budget.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.