Israel plans new moonshot after maiden mission fails

Morris Kahn speaks on Channel 12

Morris Kahn speaks on Channel 12

The Beresheet 2 spacecraft will try to achieve what its predecessor could not after an engine failure caused it to crash on the lunar surface.

"We're going to actually build a new halalit - a new spacecraft", SpaceIL chief Morris Kahn said in a video statement posted on Twitter. Israeli state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). also took part in its development, which continued even after the competition ended with no timely victor.

An image taken by Israel spacecraft, Beresheet, upon its landing on the moon, obtained by Reuters from Space IL on April 11, 2019.

Kahn, an Israeli philanthropist, donated $42 million of the $100 million cost of the mission. Kahn said that Israeli government participation amounted to $3 million. "We began something that we shall complete, and we will place our flag on the moon". Kahn also said the team is meeting this weekend to start planning the new Beresheet 2.0 project. Ofer Doron, director of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) described the dramatic moments trying to save the project. Had Beresheet landed successfully on the lunar surface, it would have become the first successful private mission to the moon and would have made Israel the fourth country in the world after Russia, US and China to have landed on the moon. The organisation aimed to win in the $20 million Google Lunar X Prize by becoming the first private robotic craft to set down on the moon, but unfortunately the deadline passed a year ago and it had to push on even without the monetary incentive.

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