SpaceX has just launched Israel’s robotic spacecraft known as “Beresheet” in the space with a mission to land on the moon. The Falcon 9 rocket ferried the spacecraft and set it free to make its way to the lunar surface.
If it successfully lands on the moon, Israel would be joining the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China as the countries who sent their lunar landers on the moon.
Beresheet is the first private lunar lander by Israel. It’s able to drive up to 500 meters on the moon’s surface and transmit HD images and videos back to Earth. It was the project of a non-profit organization called SpaceIL for Google’s Lunar XPrize. Although, their project made it to the finalists, it couldn’t make to the deadline. The competition also ended with no winners. But SpaceIL decided to launch their creation for a new mission.
Successful deployment of the SpaceIL lunar lander confirmed, starting the spacecraft’s two-month voyage to the Moon pic.twitter.com/iMlVYJHef3
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) February 22, 2019
According to the reports, Beresheet spacecraft will spend the next couple of months orbiting the Earth and then it will enter the lunar orbit. It’s estimated that it’ll land on the northern hemisphere of the moon sometime in April. For this purpose, SpaceIL proposed an effective and fuel-efficient technique, whereby the spacecraft will decrease its orbit once it’ll enter the lunar orbit.
The scientists are claiming that the lander can last only a few days at most. In this time duration, it’ll measure the magnetic field of the moon while it approaches the lunar surface for landing. This process will reveal the composition of the moon’s core. As it’s believed to be made of iron.
NASA is also involved in this project. They installed the retroreflectors in the lander to get an accurate measurement of the distance between Earth and moon. The retroreflectors are capable of bouncing back lasers beamed from Earth.
NASA will use its deep space telecommunications network to beam data back to their ground team. They also found the perfect landing site on the moon for Beresheet by using the images provided by NASA.