DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The company that developed the first Israeli spacecraft to try a lunar landing is now working on the second mission, which will have a very different design.
A previous attempt by Beresheet
Beresheet, the lander developed for the nonprofit company SpaceIL, one of the competitors in the previous Google Lunar X Prize, was built by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). In April 2019, Beresheet attempted to land on the moon, however its main engine failed during the descent, leading the spacecraft to crash.
One of the spacecraft’s two inertial measuring units shut down during its fall, according to a later study. In addition, the resuming operation produced resets in the lander’s avionics, resulting in the engine shutting down.
SpaceIL is pressing on with a Beresheet 2 mission, and will once again have IAI build the spacecraft, despite some initial uncertainty about its plans. Beresheet 2 will, however, be very different from its predecessor.
In an interview, Shlomi Sudri, vice president and general manager of IAI’s space division, remarked, “SpaceIL came up with a very unique idea: let’s land twice.” “We’ll build an orbiter that can carry two small landers,” says the scientist.
The united spacecraft will go to the moon and enter orbit as planned. The two landers will be launched from the orbiter and will attempt to land in different locations of the moon. After that, it will embark on an imaging mission that might last many years.
He claimed that work on the mission design began six months ago and that the orbiter recently passed its preliminary design assessment. It will take three years to develop the spaceship.
Each of the landers will be “much smaller” than the original Beresheet lander, which weighed 585 kilograms upon launch, but he did not specify a weight. The total weight of the spacecraft, including both landers and the orbiter, will be slightly higher than Beresheet.
Not completely ignoring the design of Beresheet 2 landers, Sudri just declared that it will be unique, because;
- The goal and the magnitude, we’re virtually doing a new design
- It is based on components that proved to be quite trustworthy during the previous mission
- The landing procedure will then be improved.
Management of Beresheet 2
Beresheet 2 is being designed by IAI, while SpaceIL is looking for additional partners for the project. This includes a Memorandum of Understanding between SpaceIL and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency, which was revealed on Oct. 20 at Expo 2020 Dubai’s “Space Week” events. The United Arab Emirates will build instrumentation to fly on the Beresheet 2 landers as part of the agreement.