It is universally reckoned that a country’s contribution to the fields of science and technology is a direct measure of its development. So were the global enthusiasts drawn away by the inducement of the Google Lunar X Prize, which is also referred to as ‘Moon 2.0’. The competition was called for privately funded teams across the world to be the first to make a lunar landing, maneuver by 500 meters, and transmit high-quality images back to earth. Sounds challenging enough right?


Picture taken by the spacecraft as it made its descent – Image Credits : NBCNews

The Beresheet spacecraft was a private mission by the Israeli SpaceIL, originally built to win the Google Lunar X Prize. But due to its delayed launch, in addition to the high-resolution imagery, the spacecraft was also aimed at analyzing and monitoring the magnetic patterns in the lunar surface.

Launched on the Falcon 9 rocket on 22 February, the spacecraft crashed on its final descent on Thursday, thrashing all high hopes that were meant to inspire Israelis more into STEM careers. Reports say that the engines were shut off due to a technical glitch, probably from a sensor. By the time the engines were reset, the speed was uncontrollable due to its high momentum at the altitude, and the spacecraft crash-landed on the lunar surface.

Final image from lander before crash. Source: SpaceIL

Israel is the fourth country to manage a controlled lunar landing after the Soviet Union, the US and China. The country also turned out to become the seventh nation to orbit the moon. It definitely is a “Small Country with Big Dreams!”

The pioneer mission had accounted for about $100 million, mostly funded by private donors like Kahn. In a recent interview, Kahn had said,

We began something that we shall complete, and we shall place our flag on the moon.

This suggests that the organization would stop at nothing unless its upcoming project – Beresheet 2 manages a controlled lunar landing. The SpaceIL President, Morris Khan had officially unveiled the new project in Israel’s Channel 12 TV.

Source Image Credits : Futurism

Other Sources: Space