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SpaceIL’s first lander crashed into the Moon, but they’re already planning a second try

Published Apr 15th, 2019 6:04PM EDT
beresheet 2

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It’s been a very interesting month thus far for SpaceIL, the Israeli organization which sent the Beresheet lunar lander into space and subsequently crashed it into the Moon. Needless to say, things didn’t go exactly as planned, and while the mission was a huge success in a number of ways the company would love another crack at landing a spacecraft on the Moon in a much more gentle fashion.

It seems they’re going to do just that. In an announcement that came very shortly after the crash-landing of the Beresheet lander, SpaceIL founder Morris Kahn announced that the group would be focusing on Beresheet 2.0.

Citing all the supportive messages and outreach SpaceIL and he himself personally received after the Beresheet lander met its unfortunate fate, Kahn seemed upbeat about the prospects of landing Beresheet’s successor on the lunar surface. “We’re going to put it on the Moon and we’re going to complete the mission,” Kahn said in a video posted to Twitter.

Kahn said the first step will be a planning committee to suss out how Beresheet 2.0 will be developed, built, and flown. He didn’t offer any specifics in regards to a timeline, but the first order of business for SpaceIL will be finding someone to help fund this newly-announced adventure.

The first Beresheet mission was privately financed, and it would seem likely that SpaceIL will be hunting for funding this time around as well. What made the first mission so interesting — aside from the fact that it was borne out of a Lunar XPrize competition that never really ended — was that it was incredibly cheap. All told, the mission only cost a couple hundred million dollars, which is a fraction of the price of many Moon landing efforts. Finding enough donors with deep pockets for a second run would also seem doable.