SpaceIL, the Israeli non-profit space agency, has announced that they will no longer be attempting to land on the moon as they instead are pursuing a bigger challenge.
In April, Israel sought to be the fourth country to successfully land on the moon. Sadly, a malfunction in one of the engines sent their unmanned spacecraft crashing onto the lunar surface as it made its final descent.
“As far as we can see, we were very close to the moon,” operation control director Alex Friedman said to engineers in the SpaceIL control room in Yehud, east of Tel Aviv, after communication with the spacecraft went down. “We are on the moon, but not in the way that we wanted to be.”
Just days after the failed landing, SpaceIL announced it would launch a second mission named Beresheet 2, with the company’s chairman Morris Kahn vowing to put an Israeli flag on the moon.
However, it was announced on Tuesday that after “in-depth discussions on the appropriate nature of Beresheet 2’s mission,” SpaceIL said in a statement, the company “reached the conclusion that the attempt to repeat the moon journey isn’t challenging enough.”
SpaceIL said it received positive feedback that indicated Beresheet is remembered as a success among Israelis, despite the landing failure, and boasted it “broke several world records.”
“The spacecraft was built on the lowest budget, travelled the farthest distance to the moon, was the smallest [spacecraft] to get there and [was] the only moon project funded by private means,” it said.
SpaceIL added it will update the public on the new nature of the mission when it has been decided.
In a tweet, they said: “This time, we will not go to the moon. Beresheet’s journey to the Moon was already received as a successful, record-breaking journey. Instead, we will seek out another, significant objective for Beresheet 2.0. More details to follow…”
This time, we will not go to the moon. Beresheet's journey to the Moon was already received as a successful, record-breaking journey. Instead we will seek out another, significant objective for Beresheet 2.0. More details to follow… pic.twitter.com/W8absyxT1Y
— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) June 25, 2019