Israel’s first mission to the Moon appeared to be back on track Thursday, following a malfunction earlier in the week which forced the cancellation of a planned maneuver.
On Thursday, SpaceIL, the private Israel firm which designed the Beresheet unmanned lunar lander spacecraft, announced that the craft had successfully completed its latest maneuver at 9:30 p.m. Israeli time.
The Beresheet control team, centered in Ramat Gan, Israel, had been working since Monday night to investigate and correct a glitch which had caused the spacecraft to malfunction, preventing it from completing a maneuver.
By Thursday night, however, the SpaceIL team said that it had completed its investigation into the malfunction, and had taken “corrective measures”.
“After completing examination of the computer resets and implementation of corrective measures, Beresheet conducted a successful maneuver this evening at 21:30. The spacecraft is on its way to an elliptical orbit where the furthest point from Earth is at a distance of 131,000 km.”
“The maneuver was executed as planned and Beresheet’s main engine was activated for 4 minutes. The next maneuver is planned in another week,” said Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL. “We are on our way to the Moon.”
“We managed to find our way around several problems that we had these last few days. It’s quite normal for a new spacecraft to have some teething problems in its first days and we’ve overcome them all. The Moon seems to be getting within reach,” said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division at IAI.
Source: Israel National News-Arutz Sheva & The Times of Israel