Israel to the Moon: Work on Beresheet 2.0 Has Begun

Israelis put their money where their mouth is by immediately launching second lunar landing project

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That didn't take long.

The Israelis involved in last week's failed lunar landing said one of their primary goals had been to inspire a new generation of children to get involved in science and space exploration. As such, they stressed to all the students watching the event live the importance of getting back up after falling down.

Putting his money where his mouth is, SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn, the South African-born billionaire who provided much of the funding for the Beresheet project, announced over the weekend the immediate launch of project Beresheet 2.0.

"We started something and we need to finish it. We’ll put our flag on the moon," Kahn said during a Saturday appearance on Israel's Channel 12 News. "Project Beresheet 2 begins tomorrow… A mission team will be meeting tomorrow to start work. …This is also a good lesson for the youth. I said that if you fail you need to get up and try again and this is an example I have to give them."

Kahn repeated his pledge in an English-language clip posted to Twitter later in the day.

Israel's Beresheet lunar lander came tantalizingly close to successfully executing a soft landing on the moon last Thursday. A sensor failure several kilometers above the moon's surface resulted in the main engine cutting out. Control room engineers were hampered in their effort to quickly restart the engine by a temporary loss of communication with the craft. By the time they were able to restart the main engine, Beresheet was only 150 meters from the surface and falling too fast.

Even so, as the heads of NASA noted in subsequent statements and tweets, this group of Israelis had managed to inspire the world by launching and nearly completing the first privately-funded and operated mission to the moon.

And they aren't done yet.

PHOTO: The last image beamed to earth by Beresheet, just moments before it crashed on the moon. (Courtesy SpaceIL)


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