Research

Israeli spacecraft landing on moon today

Israeli spacecraft landing on moon today

The 585-kilogramme (1,290-pound) Beresheet, which means "Genesis" in Hebrew, is an unmanned spacecraft resembling a tall, oddly shaped table with round fuel tanks under the top.

Beresheet ended up covering about 4 million miles (6.5 million kilometers) during this phase of the mission, team members said.

After landing, it will take a selfie. The landing is set to begin on Thursday, with touchdown expected around 3:25 p.m. ET, the Israeli space team said.

Beresheet's story begins in 2011, when the nonprofit organization SpaceIL formed to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize. Beresheet has already sent back stunning pictures of the Earth and Moon during its travels so far, and plans to continue.

The spacecraft experienced a failure of its main engine just seconds before it was expected to reach the lunar surface. Things got off to a bit of a rough start, with the spacecraft experiencing a unusual computer glitch that prevented it from completing traveling all the way to lunar orbit on schedule, but it quickly got back on track and is about to perform a Moon landing that we will all get to enjoy. No other spacecraft has taken such a long road to the moon.

Beresheet was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on February 22 with a Falcon 9 rocket from Elon Musk's private US-based SpaceX company. Beresheet then lowered its lunar orbit via a series of burns, the last of which occurred yesterday (April 10).

More news: Valentine Holmes seals deal with massive National Football League club

Beresheet was created to make some measurements of the local gravity field around its landing site during its two or three Earth days of work on the moon.

Excitement was high over the lunar mission in Israel, where it has been discussed in schools and promoted on television.

SpaceIL's live broadcast followed the tense maneuvers needed to get the lunar lander down to the Sea of Serenity on the near side of the moon. The space agency contributed a laser retroreflector array that is being used to help with ground tracking and mission communication, according to NASA. But Beresheet was not a science mission at heart.

And the lander has certainly done all of that.

The Beresheet spacecraft is seen during a presentation by Israeli non-profit SpaceIL on December 17, 2018 in Yehud, east of Tel Aviv. It managed to make it to lunar orbit, after all, and to send back a photograph from near the moon's surface, almost touching down softly - and all for a total mission price tag of just $100 million, including launch. "I didn't realize it was impossible and the three engineers who started this project didn't realize it was impossible, and the way we in Israel think, nothing is impossible".


  • Uganda arrests suspects in kidnap of freed United States  tourist, driver

    Uganda arrests suspects in kidnap of freed United States tourist, driver

    Ugandan police spokesman Enanga is warning other would-be kidnappers to think twice before trying to nab anyone. Still, the ransom payment continues to be disputed by officials on the record.
    Snapchat releases rebuilt Android app

    Snapchat releases rebuilt Android app

    The cute little GIF heralds a new dawn for Android users, who should have automatically received the update yesterday. It's very easy for us to build an Android app that will work well on flagship devices like the Pixel 3.
    Why Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Are Keeping Baby Birth Plans Private

    Why Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Are Keeping Baby Birth Plans Private

    The name Diana remains the bookmaker's favourite, with odds of 4-1, followed by Victoria 8-1, Alice 10-1 and Grace 12-1. The couple will instead facilitate a photocall "around two days afterwards".
  • Hamilton struggling to predict Ferrari form

    Hamilton struggling to predict Ferrari form

    The team have said they would favour Vettel under certain circumstances but Leclerc clearly has no intention of being sidelined. Lewis Hamilton says the recent Netflix series about Formula 1 was a "good thing", even though he did not take part.
    Netanyahu poised to become Israeli PM for 5th time

    Netanyahu poised to become Israeli PM for 5th time

    The 69-year-old prime minister has been the dominant force in Israeli politics for the past two decades and its face to the world. Attorney General Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will only decide on indicting Netanyahu after a legally mandated hearing.
    Japan to extend North Korea sanctions for two years

    Japan to extend North Korea sanctions for two years

    Tokyo also says it is unlikely that a full de-nuclearization and abolition of ballistic missiles will be achieved in North Korea. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Tuesday (local time) acknowledged that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is a "tyrant".
  • Will Overcome Effect Of Sanctions, Says North Korea's Kim Jong Un

    Will Overcome Effect Of Sanctions, Says North Korea's Kim Jong Un

    Its mistake in Hanoi was to have set a frame of denuclearisation versus lifting of the sanctions. Trump said the two leaders would be discussing "potential future meetings" with North Korea.
    AT&T turns on mobile 5G in parts of seven more cities

    AT&T turns on mobile 5G in parts of seven more cities

    The first device will be the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G , which AT&T says will be available to buy in the spring. Carriers are claiming their 5G networks will be around 10 times as fast as the current 4G LTE standard.
    No decision until end of season, says Hazard over Chelsea exit

    No decision until end of season, says Hazard over Chelsea exit

    Paul Pogba and Eden Hazard would be "welcome" at Real Madrid , says Casemiro , with Neymar another of the "very good players" who would slot seamlessly into the fold.
  • The First Picture Of A Black Hole Was Taken By A Woman

    The black hole is said to be an inconceivable 6.5 billion times bigger than the sun and is in a galaxy called M87. The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster.
    Mercedes undaunted by Ferrari challenge - Toto Wolff

    Mercedes undaunted by Ferrari challenge - Toto Wolff

    The country, which has a swelling number of motor sport enthusiasts, is a key market for F1's US-based owners Liberty Media. Mercedes may have scored their second straight one-two of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix .
    WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy

    WikiLeaks says Julian Assange is being spied on in Ecuadorean embassy

    WikiLeaks tweeted in response to today's arrest saying Ecuador had "illegally terminated" Julian Assange's political asylum. Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Mr Assange's asylum after his repeated violations to global conventions.