Israel to launch second lunar rover after first Beresheet crashed

By Vignesh Giridharan | Published on Apr 15 2019
Israel to launch second lunar rover after first Beresheet crashed
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Beresheet 2.0 will finish what Beresheet started.

Work on Beresheet 2.0 has already begun.

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Just three days after announcing the crash-landing of its first rover to the moon, Israeli non-profit organisation SpaceIL announced its plans to build and send a second one. Morris Kahn, one of SpaceIL’s major donors, made the announcement on Twitter in the form of a 45-second video. “The dream goes on,” he wrote in his tweet. Although a special task force has been formed to start work on the second lunar rover, there’s no word yet on when it will make it to the moon. The name of the mission this time is Beresheet 2.0.

According to Israel Today, he said on the nation’s Channel 12 News, “We started something and we need to finish it. We’ll put our flag on the moon. Project Beresheet 2 begins tomorrow… A mission team will be meeting tomorrow to start work. ...This is also a good lesson for the youth. I said that if you fail you need to get up and try again and this is an example I have to give them.”

It’s hard to call the first Beresheet mission a failure because the lander came very close to landing on the moon without any problems. But sadly, when it was just 150 metres above the lunar surface, the team on Earth lost all communication with the lander, leading to Beresheet’s hard, fatal landing. On its journey to the moon, Beresheet was to hit a maximum speed of 10 kilometres per second and travel a total of 6.5 million kilometres, which is the longest distance travelled to get to the moon.

Beresheet was carrying scientific equipment to measure the local magnetic field on the moon. The 585-kilogramme rover was also carrying with it memories of Israel. It was carrying a small digital “time capsule”, which contained an entire copy of Wikipedia in English, Israel’s national anthem, drawings by children, songs in Hebrew, and the memoir of a Holocaust survivor. The plaque on the rover read, “Am Yisrael Chai” (which translates to, “The nation of Israel lives,” from Hebrew) and the slogan “Small Country, Big Dreams.”

Related Read: Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashes on the moon

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