Beresheet lunar lander, created in Israel, is preparing to touch down on the Moon tomorrow, April 11th. If the task is completed successfully, Israel will join a select group, becoming the fourth nation which managed to land a spacecraft on the Moon. The other three are the US, China, and the former Soviet Union (Russia).
At this point, the spacecraft orbits the Moon, and everything is going to plan, according to the SpaceIL, the group who manages Beresheet. An engine burn was performed to bring the spacecraft closer to the satellite. Additional maneuvers will transform the current elliptic orbit into a circular one which will be used to land the shuttle.
The plan is to land the spacecraft within the Sea of Serenity which is found in the northern hemisphere of the moon’s visible side. The exact target area is placed between the northeastern part of the Sea of Serenity and the west side of the Poseidon Crater. Three possible landing sites have been identified, with two of them being backup spots.
Beresheet lunar lander will touch down on the Moon on April 11th, marking a historical milestone for Israel and its space industry
SpaceIL fitted the spacecraft with a suite of various cameras and a small scientific payload. Among to sensors, we can find a miniaturized Lunar Retroreflector Array offered by NASA and a magnetometer received from the University of California.
By using these devices, Beresheet will be able to record valuable data which will be sent back to Earth. Israeli researchers hope that they will learn more about the magnetic phenomena which take place on the moon.
Beresheet began as a project which participated in a competition held by Google. The contest aimed to encourage private enterprises to create spacecraft which could be used to explore space. The contest ended without a winner, but the team managed to obtain funds from private entities and continued the project. The LRA is an experimental landing tool which has the potential to help the team during the landing phase. If it performs well it could be used in future missions.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.