Israeli Moon Lander Crashes

SpaceIL’s unmanned, privately-funded “Beresheet” spacecraft attempted a historic lunar landing! Unfortunately in the last moments, there were issues with the main engine and they lost communications with the spacecraft, which impacted the Moon. They were able to successfully orbit the Moon.

They lost control of the spacecraft about 150 meters above the lunar surface.

SOURCES – SpaceIl, youtube

Written By Brian Wang,

16 thoughts on “Israeli Moon Lander Crashes”

  1. Yes, bags have been used for decades. Nuna 9 was the first, I think. Never heard of anyone using a crumple cone for a lander.

  2. 150 meters? If it was not moving too fast, airbags might have been better than trying to land with thrusters, even light fairly wimpy bags might be good enough. Even if a sharp rock gets one, it probably will take time to deflate. You can probably make them very light with that spider silk stuff. As long as the thrusters can slow it to say 10-15 m/s, it should survive.

    I also have this crazy idea where you can have a long narrow cone or tube where it is designed to crumple like the crumple-zone of a car….maybe 10-15x longer than the craft. You have that pointed directly over the center of mass in the direction of motion. You combine that with airbags.

    The long cone or pole hits first and just keeps crumpling each bit more requiring more force to crumple the same distance. When it has crumpled enough, the bags take over.

    This lengthens the time to slow down reducing g forces. It means less fuel is required, no landing struts (which makes it no net mass increase). Also, it does not rebound like the bags, so once that energy is absorbed, it is not going to send crazily bouncing 50 times until it finally stops. And less bounces is less chance for something to go wrong.

    And just about any surface on the Moon other than a steep cliff should work just fine.

  3. Sympathies for SpaceIL – well, they got father than most. Each setback is a learning step for eventually making it happen. Hope they try again.

  4. And Palestinians will say: “So the Israeli’s said they came in peace and ended up bombing something … How typical.” Anyway. I would have loved for it to succeed. It wouldn’t hurt for the space race to heat up in a good way.

  5. Solar panels don’t work on the Dark Side of the Moon.

    (Yes, the work on the Far Side..but some morons keep calling it the ‘Dark Side’ so I am running with it to extend the moronity of that term even further.)

  6. They are. The have already signed on with ESA to build multiple moon landers upgraded from this design. I would think that combining ion thrusters to reach the moon orbit like the Japanese Selene in the late 2000s will work very well for a small 600kg including fuel vehicle that reaches the moon with minimal fuel via multiple earth moon orbiting acceleration deceleration.

  7. Well, that’s unfortunate.

    Contrary to that stupid Star Trek movie, taking off is a lot easier than landing.

  8. Space isn’t easy.

    I hope this team remains focused (and financed) to try it again.

    There is no other way forward.

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