Carrying instrumentation to measure the magnetic field of the Moon, a laser-reflector provided by NASA and a time-capsule of cultural and historical Israeli artifacts, the mission will ride into space as a secondary payload — like a ride-share passenger — aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Planned landing site
The planned landing site is at the north of Mare Serenitatis, and the landing zone is about 15 km (9.3 mi) in diameter.
By June 2017, the lander spacecraft was undergoing integration and testing. As of January 2019, testing is finished. Launch is scheduled for February 2019.
- Dimensions: about 2 m (6.6 ft) in diameter and 1.5 m high.
- Mass: 585 kg (1,300 lb) at launch; approximately 400 kg of that mass is propellant.
- Science payload:
- Operation time: Approx. 2 days on the lunar surface, as it has no thermal control and is expected to overheat soon.
Once Beresheet is in Earth orbit and separated from the Falcon 9 launcher, and after several orbits around Earth, the spacecraft will slowly perform orbit raising. The orbit raising would take 2.5 months before reaching the Moon’s area of influence. Once there, the spacecraft will perform maneuvers to be captured in a lunar orbit and orbit around the Moon between 2 weeks and 1 month. In the right orbit around the landing site, it will decelerate until soft landing on the lunar surface.
Full article: The Conversation
The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.