While Bereshit goes to the moon, the Israeli team explores the problem with navigation sensors


After the successful launch of the Israeli Space Shuttle Bereshit in space, the team in the control room investigated a minor problem with the astronomical navigation sensor system on Friday.

The Israeli team said the sun's reflection in the spacecraft's sensors made it harder than expected to orient the spacecraft to star position as it prepared for its first orbit around the Earth, its long journey to the moon .

However, the team said he believed it the problem was of minor importance, and said there are other ways in which the ship could be driven on the right track.

The spacecraft was successfully launched on Thursday night by SpaceX.

A communication satellite for Indonesia was the main cargo on the missile Falcon 9, which illuminates the sky while flying. But the Israel-funded, privately-funded complex, the first not only for Israel but also for the commercial area, created concern.

Israel seeks to become the fourth country to land successfully on the Moon, after Russia, the United States and China. The spacecraft, called Bereshit, in Hebrew for Genesis or "at the beginning" will take almost two months to reach the Moon.

"We think it's time for a change and we want the small Israel to reach the moon"He said Yonatan Winetraub, co-founder of the organization Israeli space Y, a non-profit organization that is responsible for the effort.

The Falcon 9 rocket landed with the Beresheet spacecraft on February 22, 2019, as shown on the screens of the Yehud command center in Israel. (SpaceIL)
The Falcon 9 rocket landed with the Beresheet spacecraft on February 22, 2019, as shown on the screens of the Yehud command center in Israel. (SpaceIL)

The moon, almost full and shining, stood up when it stood up in the eastern sky. An hour after takeoff, Bereshit already sent data and had successfully deployed the landing legs, according to SpaceILI.

"We will continue to analyze the data, but the important thing is that we are entering the exclusive group of countries that launched a ship on the Moon"He said Yigal Harel, head of the SpaceIL spacecraft.

The Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu I watched the live broadcast from the Israeli control center in Yehud, near Tel Aviv.

"This is a big step for Israel, but a giant step for Israeli technology"He said.

Bereshit, a quadrilateral, just the size of a washing machine, will circle the Earth into ever larger loops until it is captured by the lunar gravity and entering orbit around the Moon. The the landing will take place on 11 April in the Serenity Sea.

NASA's Apollo missions in the 60s and 70s took about three days to transport the astronauts to the moon, but they used monstrous rockets of Saturn V. The $ 100 million Bereshit mission could not withstand its own rocket, even a small one, so the organizers chose a joint trip. This makes for a much longer trip; The moon is currently nearly 230,000 miles (370,000 kilometers).

The Bereshit mission was initially part of the contest Google Lunar XPrize and even came to a final cut before he finished last year without a winner. The organizers decided to go on their own, with donations from billionaires and private operators.

The SpaceIL spacecraft that will land on the Moon in April is about 5 feet high with a diameter of 6.5 feet. (Courtesy of SpaceIL)

The functions of the lunar surface are intended to last only two days. Bereshit will measure the magnetic field in the landing position and send data and images. There is a time capsule on the vehicle, which includes a picture of the Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who died in 2003 on the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003, and a lunar library containing 30 million pages of archives from the Arch Mission Foundation, based in the United States.

The widow of Ramon, Rona, was a great supporter of Bereshit. He died of cancer in December.


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