The first privately funded trip to the moon launched #Space #Moon #Beresheet @TeamSpaceIL
Via MIT Technology Review: After failing to claim the Lunar X Prize (which, to be fair, everyone did), the Israeli firm SpaceIL’s lander was launched and deployed successfully on February 21, at 8:45 p.m. aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. It’s expected to arrive on the lunar surface in April 2019.
Since the Lunar X Prize was launched in 2007, only four vehicles have successfully reached the moon. They were all government-funded, and only the two launched by China had the ability to rove on the moon’s surface.
SpaceIL is actually hitching a ride alongside the primary payload, the Indonesian telecommunications satellite Nusantara Satu.
Over the ensuing month, the spacecraft will perform a series of phasing loops (elliptical orbits that slowly get further away from Earth) until it can enter lunar orbit. It’ll then spend six days orbiting the moon until it goes in for a landing. Its first landing opportunity will come on April 11.
India is planning to launch its Chandrayaan-2 moon mission in mid-April and take a much faster route to the lunar surface. Depending on when liftoff happens, there’s a chance India could pass the Israeli craft while it’s out there doing its umpteenth phasing loop, and nab that fourth spot right from under its rover wheels.
Of course, being fifth isn’t half bad either, and it’s an amazing accomplishment no matter who gets there first. But it’ll put a bit of a time crunch on India—whose mission has already been delayed three times—if it does care about getting there fourth.
UPDATE: via Twitter: NASA kindly added Israeli @TeamSpaceIL Beresheet spacecraft to their ‘Eyes on the Solar System’ simulator, visualizing real time data from SpaceIL mission control. Click the link & live-track Israel’s journey to the moon on NASAs galactic radar
Like Space-related News? Let us know in the comments below.
We are angry, frustrated, and in pain because of the violence and murder of Black people by the police because of racism. We are in the fight AGAINST RACISM. George Floyd was murdered, his life stolen. The Adafruit teams have specific actions we’ve done, are doing, and will do together as a company and culture. We are asking the Adafruit community to get involved and share what you are doing. The Adafruit teams will not settle for a hash tag, a Tweet, or an icon change. We will work on real change, and that requires real action and real work together. That is what we will do each day, each month, each year – we will hold ourselves accountable and publish our collective efforts, partnerships, activism, donations, openly and publicly. Our blog and social media platforms will be utilized in actionable ways. Join us and the anti-racist efforts working to end police brutality, reform the criminal justice system, and dismantle the many other forms of systemic racism at work in this country, read more @ adafruit.com/blacklivesmatter
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.