An Israeli Lander heads for the Moon


SpaceIL's Beresheet, a nonprofit, is heading for the Moon. Only China, the Soviet Union and the United States have already landed safely. Facilitator Mat Kaplan meets with Yoav Landsman, Senior System Engineer at SpaceIL, while MaryLiz Bender hears a member of the team who attended the launch. Jason Davis, digital publisher, tells the story of the success of the hit on an asteroid by Hayabusa2. You want a rubber asteroid? You have another chance to win a victory in What's Up with Bruce Betts.

A KickAsteroid rubber asteroid from the invaluable Planetary Society and an astronomical account of 200 points.

Where will the Hayabusa 2 capsule be returned with its samples taken from the Ryugu asteroid?

Fill out the contest entry form at or email us at the address [email protected] no later than Wednesday, March 6 at 8:00 am Pacific Time. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

The answer will be revealed next week.

What are the two brightest stars of asterism (think of the constellation) of the Big Dipper?

The two brightest stars (apparent brightness) of the Big Dipper's asterism are Dubhe (Alpha) and Alioth (Epilson).

Transcribed by Planetary Society volunteer Jake Bathman:

[Mat Kaplan]: In the beginning, Beresheet heads to the Moon this week on Planetary Radio. Welcome. I am Mat Kaplan, from the Planetary Society, who speaks more about the human adventure in our solar system and beyond. In a few weeks, a small Israeli non-profit organization could do something that only the three most advanced nations in terms of space science have accomplished. Beresheet means in Hebrew at first. The lunar lander bearing this name began his journey. We will talk with Yoav Landsman of SpaceIL, the team of engineers, technicians and scientists inspired by this mission. And we will hear the associate producer MaryLiz Bender, who was at the launch and met a member of the SpaceIL team who oversees the content of the mission. Later, another visit What's new with Chief Scientist Bruce Betts of the Planetary Society. Jason Davis is the [00:01:00] Digital publisher of the company. He is back to share his reports on the Japanese mission which has just passed a major milestone. Jason, the last days have been very busy and space exploration should not be long. But we are going to focus mainly on Hayabusa2, you have done a great job in this area.

[Jason Davis]: Yes. Thus, Hayabusa successfully touched last Friday the greatest moment of his mission so far. He fired a shot into Ryugu's surface and captured a material that was sprayed and moved away from the asteroid safely. It was therefore a huge success. We are still waiting for a few more pictures to see what exactly happened when it was near the surface, but we saw one really cool where you can see the shadow of the probe and a small spot dark where the thrusters are on. and kind of spray some of the fine material on the surface so great success for them and we are looking forward to hearing [00:02:00] more soon.

[Mat Kaplan]: Just spectacular to see these shadows. You have the other one where the spacecraft is farther away, I guess it was on approach, and there's that cute, well-defined little shadow of the spaceship projected on that rock.

[Jason Davis]: This rock slash pile slash rock. It sounds like a Star Wars TIE fighter type as you know, it has solar panels in the little thing in the middle. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

[Mat Kaplan]Yeah. Well, that's what we are, what we humans do. We travel vast distances, reach other bodies and shoot at them.

[Jason Davis]: Yes. And we have not finished. You know, there is another Hayabusa experience that will make even a bigger crater. He uses an explosive to shoot a copper bullet into the surface. In fact, it deploys this small explosive box and then the spaceship hides behind the asteroid, because it is a much bigger crater that will create. So yes, stay tuned, and more interesting things coming from this mission.

[Mat Kaplan]: You have these fantastic new resources on, we'll link them from the broadcast page [00:03:00] so at, for just about everything you might want to know about Hayabusa2. And not only Hayabusa, but we do it with many missions, including the one we'll talk about with our guests in a few moments, SpaceIL's Beresheet.

[Jason Davis]: We have slightly modified the approach of our reports to obtain these pages of very detailed resources that accompany our coverage, and when new developments appear in this way, we do not have to come back to explain the mission . If you are not caught off guard, you can simply check one of these landing pages and get acquainted with the mission. Yes, and you can reach them if you access our Explore menu on the website and Space Missions. An interesting landing page will tell you what we call our hot missions. So, it's all space vehicles that do a lot of things right now, and there's a little map of the solar system from the Planetary Report, from our member magazine, and some really cool resources. So yes, I encourage everyone to go check it out.

[Mat Kaplan]: They are very [00:04:00] cool. And this is not just my opinion. There are people in the media around the world who are now relying on them but no matter who can go and have a look. As I said, you have that of SpaceIL, Beresheet. And there was a development on this mission apparently what, this morning or yesterday, which I did not even know about.

[Jason Davis]: They had a problem. They went to fire their engine to get into the orbit of the spacecraft because they had to, over the next few weeks, continue to climb the Earth's orbit around the Earth. until they crossed with the moon and that they went to put the engine on fire and that apparently they had gone out. communication with the spacecraft and the computer restarted unexpectedly and thus triggered an immediate shutdown of the engine ignition. From what we can say this morning, the spaceship is in good health. They are just trying to understand the cause of this restart and I am sure that they will give the engine another shot when they get the chance.

[Mat Kaplan]: Well, thank you my God and those damn cosmic rays or anything that caused this particular glitch.

[Jason Davis]: It reminds me of LightSail [00:05:00] After this mission, I do not know if it's a good or a bad thing, but I tell myself that, oh, another thing has happened, but they're going … I'm sure that they're going overcome them.

[Mat Kaplan]Jason, thank you.

[Jason Davis]: Thanks Mat.

[Mat Kaplan]: It's Jason Davis. He is our digital editor at the Planetary Society. And of course, LightSail is relevant because it is also our main reporter for this mission, our integrated reporter, in the LightSail 2 mission. By the way, you can hear my conversation with the head of JAXA, the Japanese space agency , about the Hayabusa mission and more. This is in our episode of July 25, 2018. We will make a link from this week. On the night of Thursday, February 21, another Falcon 9 was able to lift several payloads in [00:06:00] space. One of these payloads carries the dream of SpaceIL, not only to land safely on the moon, but to inspire millions of young people through this feat. We had a great conversation with Yoav Landsman, Senior System Engineer at SpaceIL. First of all, something special from our MaryLiz Bender. MaryLiz was in Cape Canaveral for the spectacular launch. She met with members of the SpaceIL team and collected this brief recap of her conversation with one of them.

[Mali Marton]: I am an engineer at the IAI. It is the Israeli aerospace industry.

[MaryLiz Bender]: That's Mali Marton. I met her for a wonderful discussion on Cocoa Beach the day after the launch.

[Mali Marton]: So I came to Florida to watch the launch of Beresheet and it's a very special experience for me.

[MaryLiz Bender]From where we were on the beach, we had a view of the Beresheet launch pad, where Mali witnessed its very first rocket launch.

[Mali Marton]: And it was very intense. I could not speak. I was like, [00:07:00] I wanted to do a live on Facebook, but I could not speak.

[MaryLiz Bender]Many of her friends could not join her at launch, but she kept in touch as they watched Israel at 3:45 in the morning.

[Mali Marton]My friends sent me pictures of children waking up with blankets and sitting in front of the television. It was really fast. Even a great excitement. I could really feel it all the way here.

[MaryLiz Bender]: But it was not just his first rocket launch. It was particularly special in Mali because she had a very personal interest in this mission.

[Mali Marton]: I started volunteering at SpaceIL in 2011, from the very first day. I helped them with their logistics and when I went with Kfir, one of the co-founders of SpaceIL, he told me about his dream.

[MaryLiz Bender]: Kfir Damari, co-founder of SpaceIL, explained in Mali his vision of using this mission as a tool to raise awareness of education.

[Mali Marton]: And I think that is the moment when I realized that I would not be part of the engineering team and that I will do it [00:08:00] educational vision.

[MaryLiz Bender]Mali has spent four years designing and managing the SpaceIL education program. And for eight years, she and the other volunteers have lectured throughout Israel, reaching more than one million children.

[Mali Marton]: I mean, we want to send a spaceship to the moon but the mission was to inspire the children to continue their studies in STEM. The reaction is exciting. They are very inspired. It really teaches us that we simply need to find the right story to reach the children.

[MaryLiz Bender]: Just as the Apollo missions prompted so many American children to become scientists and engineers, the SpaceIL team was hoping to create their own Apollo effect.

[Mali Marton]: But now, after the launch of this event and that all these kids want to be part of it, I think we should call it Beresheet effect.

[MaryLiz Bender]: If everything goes as planned, Beresheet will land on the Moon and complete its mission in April. But Mali said the education program would continue.

[Mali Marton]: We plan to take the history of the Space Shuttle [00:09:00] and put it in the science curriculum, because when you study out of context, it's sometimes boring. Sometimes you do not see the point.

[MaryLiz Bender]The idea is that children will enjoy learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics if they have a concrete example, such as the inspiring mission of Beresheet, for put it in context.

[Mali Marton]: I am so proud. I did the education part of the mission because, as interesting as the engineering part, I think that without the educational impact, it would not be the same thing. I mean, if a group of engineers build a spacecraft in this closed environment and nobody hears about it and the kids do not hear about it, we do not do anything. It was the first vision and our mission. I am therefore very proud of the educational impact.

[MaryLiz Bender]: But Mali and the rest of the team did not just teach the kids about the spaceship. Using nanotechnology, they have added a collection of children's drawings, images and messages to the Beresheet control capsule.

[Mali Marton]: I really hope that someday these kids [00:10:00] that we met all these years can go to the Moon and see the time capsule and all the material they sent.

[MaryLiz Bender]The main question the children ask him is whether Beresheet will return to Earth or not.

[Mali Marton]: And I tell them that one day you will be an engineer and you will design the mission that will bring Beresheet back here.

[MaryLiz Bender]: Meanwhile, kids can track the mission and track Beresheet 's location after the countdown before landing on

[Mali Marton]: The amazing thing to tell these kids all these years the story of the spaceship, there were times that children could not believe. I mean I told them the story when they were in elementary school and most of them are now graduates. I think it's the impact that kids have been dreaming about the probe since all this time, and that ends up happening.

[MaryLiz Bender]It has been a story of inspiration and hope for children who grew up thinking that Beresheet was a sci-fi story. But today, recognize it as a reality. For planetary [00:11:00] Radio, I'm MaryLiz Bender, Ad Astra.

[Mat Kaplan]: We have posted all the discussions of MaryLiz with Mali Marton, Pedagogical Manager and Engineer SpaceIL, as a bonus on the page of this week's episode. You'll find it on SpaceIL's Malian colleague, Yoav Landsman, was unable to travel to Florida. But the next day, he joined me to help us better understand Beresheet, his mission and why this small organization of true believers has taken up a daunting challenge. Yoav, thank you very much for joining us on Planetary Radio. So soon after this spectacular start to your mission and congratulations on the success of your mission.

[Yoav Landsman]Thank you, Mat.

[Mat Kaplan]: Where were you for the launch?

[Yoav Landsman]: I was at the operations center of the mission. It was very exciting to be there. It seems like the whole world is watching us. The Prime Minister was in our center and a lot [00:12:00] other very important guests, including our families and colleagues, and everyone shared happiness, enthusiasm and joy.

[Mat Kaplan]: The photo of all those celebrating in the control room there in Israel has definitely gained world renown, and rightly so, and it is a pleasure to learn that you have also welcomed your family there . Obviously, it was a very exciting moment.

[Yoav Landsman]: Beyond Words.

[Mat Kaplan]: What is the current status of the Beresheet spacecraft?

[Yoav Landsman]: The current state is better than expected. I can say that because I have some experience launch satellites. I've worked with commercial communication satellites in the past. I can say that space missions do not go wrong, they are so complex and it is so difficult to test them in a real environment. [00:13:00] as they meet in space. It's actually impossible. When you launch a new spaceship, and obviously if it's the first of its kind, you will surely have your surprises. So we try to plan and anticipate that, but sometimes you can not and you rely on your experience and all the very good engineers who are there to get things done and to make sure that the spaceship is working as expected and can take the mission.

[Mat Kaplan]You can talk to any agency or company in the world who has had this experience and they will tell you how they still have doubts about a first outing with the first spaceship. So, one more reason for you to be proud. I read this morning that there was a problem with the star tracker or maybe more than one on the spacecraft. And of course, for anyone who was not aware, these elements are essential as they essentially allow you to stay on track. They tell you where you are. is [00:14:00] It's a serious challenge?

[Yoav Landsman]: Yes, first of all, just a minor correction, the star followers tell us where we indicate how the spaceship is oriented in space and not where we are. The problem does not come from a single star follower, but probably from the way we anticipated the operation of star followers. This is an operational problem and it seems that their portal is blinded by parasitic light from the Sun in angles we did not anticipate, making the navigation system harder to use than what had been designed. But the units are fine. They can produce measurements. They produce good measures. And even though we can not solve the problem completely, what we are trying to understand is exactly the problem in order to solve it, I think it may sound like a chronic illness. You just have to learn how to [00:15:00] live with and that seems feasible. This is not a critical challenge. This is not minor, but it is not serious. We already find some ways to get around the problem and perform our burns, our orbital corrections, without causing this problem. And we have already done our first maneuver, the first growing perigee, yesterday and about 6 hours later, doing the next maneuver, which is much larger. Much bigger. This will raise the peak of nearly 70,000 kilometers to over 100,000 kilometers and we are perfectly prepared for that. We have even corrected the test simulator we have to model this anomaly and leave what we are going to do, the maneuvers and [00:16:00] other things we plan to do during the mission, on the simulator to make sure we can still perform this task without this problem.

[Mat Kaplan]This is an important skill for all spacecraft operators, especially those who are turning to other organisms in our solar system, to learn how to overcome these kinds of challenges. It's clear that you were part of this tradition and thank you for letting me know. the function of the star followers. Let's talk about what lies ahead. From what I've read, you'll go into orbit around the Moon, captured by the Moon, in early April, and then you may wait very soon after, maybe a week later, to make this landing. Is it correct?

[Yoav Landsman]: This is correct. The schedule is very tight around the moon. We must therefore plan everything in advance and try to meet deadlines. We still have to do several small maneuvers [00:17:00] after the lunar capture. In fact, one of them is not quite small. We capture the moon in an elliptical orbit too high to land. So we have to go down and down the orbit until we are in a parking orbit 200 km above the lunar surface, and then we stay inside. this orbit until the landing site is in the right phase of the moon. The Terminator, the dividing line between light and darkness on the Moon, is just above this site. So it's dawn on the site where we should land. All maneuvers are planned in advance in order to be there and start landing when we are on the perilone, which is the closest point to the orbit above the landing site of the chosen landing site, within the allotted time. We need to synchronize the position, the location and the time in [00:18:00] a very precise way, which is quite difficult to do.

[Mat Kaplan]: Why is it important to land at dawn or where it will be on the moon, so that you basically land, I suppose, along the Terminator line where the night becomes day?

[Yoav Landsman]: This is true. We land in the sea of ​​serenity. It is crucial that we land at dawn because. We have designed a spacecraft capable of withstanding temperatures up to a point below the lunar temperature on the moon's surface, because it is very hot on the moon during the day and of course during the night, it is very cold. But you do not have electricity if you depend on solar panels. Our only option is to land on the Terminator because the ground is still … it's not cold, but it's not very hot. We can survive there for two or three days, which is enough for everything we plan to do there.

[Mat Kaplan]: Not too much [00:19:00] cold. Not too hot. I want to talk a little more about this landing. You, I'm sure you know, the old saying is difficult. We like to say that landing somewhere after traveling in space is even more difficult. What is your level of confidence that this small spacecraft, the first of its kind, will be able to safely descend to the surface?

[Yoav Landsman]: You can say that I am optimistic, but I have great confidence in what we do. But me too as an engineer, I understand that this is not guaranteed. I think every landing lands on Earth, but it's also much harder to land on other bodies and, let's face it, we do it for the first time. So there are a lot of new things to learn by ourselves that we have to do to do it all ourselves because few people have been involved in such activities. [00:20:00] developments of landing gear. Only a few countries land on the moon and most will not share information. So it's very difficult and it's never been done with a spaceship of this size, with the exception of the first one to land on the moon, the Luna 9, which was a little smaller but whose mission type was very different. But I think our mission is also different because the spaceship and the lander are the same thing. This is not a separate lander of an orbiter. We must survive long in space even before reaching the lunar orbit. And then we land with the whole spaceship. We actually thought of another alternative of using a two-stage spacecraft because we carry a lot of fuel with us. The dry mass of the spacecraft is equal to one-third of [00:21:00] the mass of fuel we carry is like a tanker, right?

[Mat Kaplan]Yeah.

[Yoav Landsman]: We arrive at the lunar orbits, the lowest orbit around the Moon is almost empty. Spacecraft dynamics behave differently from the beginning of the mission. Of course, if we do not have enough fuel, we can not land, but if we have too much fuel in lunar orbit, it's too much for us to land because you have more time to burn the speed of such a mass. We even have a plan to get rid of this extra fuel if we get too heavy on the moon.

[Mat Kaplan]: Well, I hope you have a good gas gauge if you do not want to get rid of it obviously.

[Yoav Landsman]: In fact, it is easy to lose fuel, it just needs to be less effective during maneuvers.

[Mat Kaplan]: You know, it was easy. You would not only be the fourth entity in the history of the [00:22:00] humanity to do that, right?

[Yoav Landsman]: This is true. That's true. We also planned to launch the Indian lander soon enough and I do not know its schedule, but you know what? I do not care because it is no longer a competition. That was once, but for now, we just want to land on the Moon the first privately funded spacecraft and that will be the first.

[Mat Kaplan]: And I know you've been questioned about it. But of course, you are the first of Google Lunar XPRIZE's past competitors to go that far. There were other requirements in the competition that you no longer plan to try like this after landing on the surface of the moon. Beresheet would be able if you thought it was worth it?

[Yoav Landsman]: First of all, he is able. We have finished the design of the jump so that the spacecraft can do it and we will have enough fuel to do it. [00:23:00] this. But we probably will not do that. Actually. I'm quite sure we will not do that because once we land, when we have a soft landing on a lunar surface, why risk it? It's such a beautiful achievement. I think I would prefer that it stays there as a monument as … you can call it Heritage Site.

[Mat Kaplan]: Yes.

[Yoav Landsman]: And do not move it because it's already there. So do not touch it.

[Mat Kaplan]: I think this will join all the other landing sites on the Moon which, hopefully someday, will all be tourist attractions.

[Yoav Landsman]: Exactly exactly.

[Mat Kaplan]: Why was this particular landing site chosen?

[Yoav Landsman]We did a survey of many sites and we needed a site as flat as possible, which is not common on the moon, without huge rocks that could risk landing. [00:24:00] because we do not have to avoid the risks. We can not look at the site closely and decide if we have to move several meters on that side or on the other side of the spacecraft. This means that the landing is somewhat specific about where exactly are we going to touch. It means for us in the development process that we need a much safer site that we can find. Moreover, since we also have a magnetometer and a scientific instrument, we needed a side that, from a point of view, could be technically ready and interesting from the point of view scientist. It's contradictory.

[Mat Kaplan]: Yes.

[Yoav Landsman]: There is a conflict in every landing mission. This [00:25:00] mission is an engineering mission. This is a technology demonstrator. We have found a place where there is some degree of local magnetism that deserves to be measured and we hope to recover these measurements during the landing and after landing for the benefit of science.

[Mat Kaplan]: Of course it is oh, what should we say, this discussion that often takes place between the engineering staff and the scientific part of the crew of a spaceship. Yes, it's usually something that needs to be worked out. Looks like it happened. We should also mention that the hazard avoidance capability is a very advanced capability that only a few spacecraft have so far and that even the InSight Lander that landed on Mars just a few weeks ago have encountered the same type of concerns you, they choose the site the smoother that they [00:26:00] thought they could find and hope for the best. I hope you will be as lucky as InSight.

[Yoav Landsman]: Yes thanks.

[Mat Kaplan]: I know you also have a camera, a very high resolution camera, did that … look like a standard or commercially available camera that you took away?

[Yoav Landsman]: Yes, that's it. We made some adjustments because we had to adapt the cameras to our mission so we could observe the lunar surface from the ground and take pictures of a panorama around us, from the landing site. In addition, one of the cameras is tilted down to take a picture that part of it is the side of the spacecraft itself with one of the landing gear and a plate with messages and logos, which was part of the requirements. Google Lunar XPRIZE contest, but we kept what we call the selfie [00:27:00] camera. And we think this camera will produce the best images we will have of this mission. These cameras must get the farthest objects as far as we can, just like the near objects, because we see the ground near the probe but we also see the horizon. We had to make compromises between them. And also these cameras will take pictures of the Moon and the Earth during our flight. Because it's such a long trip. So we just have to try that and get the best images possible. I hope we can have some for the public soon, for everyone.

[Mat Kaplan]: I am looking forward to seeing these pictures as many other people who, I am sure, listen to that. Obviously, these images and the data from your magnetometer must [00:28:00] return to earth …

[Yoav Landsman]: And the video.

[Mat Kaplan]: And the video, yes. All of this must come back to Earth and I think it may be an aspect of this mission that will not get as much attention as the spacecraft itself. SpaceIL has worked hard to build a network of receivers here on Earth to communicate with the spacecraft. Et puis je sais que vous avez également conclu un accord avec la NASA pour l’utilisation du réseau Deep Space. Pensez-vous également que le succès de ce projet est une partie essentielle de ce projet ou de ce que nous espérons être un succès?

[Yoav Landsman]: C'est une partie énorme. Les gens ne le reconnaissent pas, mais la communication est l’un des plus grands défis de cette mission. Je suppose que sur toutes les autres missions aussi parce que les distances sont si grandes. Et dans un petit vaisseau spatial, vous ne pouvez pas avoir un émetteur énorme. Notre petit émetteur, qui est en fait le même émetteur qui était [00:29:00] sur la mission LADEE qui gravitait autour de la Lune. C'est un petit émetteur et vous ne pouvez pas avoir un émetteur très puissant car vous n'avez pas beaucoup de puissance dans le minuscule vaisseau spatial. Nous avons dû faire des compromis. Et nous utilisons ce petit émetteur et nous avons besoin de grandes antennes pour recevoir les signaux sur Terre. Mais ce ne sont pas très communs. Les très grandes antennes sont généralement très occupées parce que vous n'en avez pas beaucoup sur Terre. Nous avons donc essayé de trouver des antennes qui ne soient pas très petites mais pas très grandes afin de disposer d’un réseau et nous avons passé un accord avec la SSC, une entreprise suédoise possédant toutes sortes d’antennes dans le monde. Et ils ont aussi pour nous des antennes d’autres entreprises afin de [00:30:00] avoir cet énorme réseau à travers le monde. En octobre, je pense que nous avons eu notre contact avec la NASA. Nous avons le DSN, Deep Space Network, pour nous pour la partie lunaire de la mission. Cela représente un gros problème, car sans eux, nous avons une marge de liaison, comme nous l’appelons ingénierie pour les descentes, pour l’atterrissage, qui est si serré que le débit de données que nous pourrions envoyer n’était que d’un kilobit par seconde.

[Mat Kaplan]: Sensationnel. Retour aux débuts d'Internet.

[Yoav Landsman]: Oui, je pense que c'est à propos de l'utilisation directe avec Voyager avec les énormes antennes sur Terre, mais nous sommes bien plus proches bien sûr, mais c'est pourtant ce qu'il faut. Lorsque nous avons le réseau Deep Space de JPL à notre disposition, nous pouvons télécharger à un taux beaucoup plus élevé. [00:31:00] Nous aurons plus d'images et de mesures scientifiques pendant la descente au cas où, mais aussi beaucoup de télémétrie, ce qui est également important, car même si nous échouons pendant la descente ou si, malheureusement, nous tombons en panne, nous disposons toujours des données qui expliquent ce qui s'est passé. Et ceci est très important pour les futures missions car atterrir sur la Lune n’est pas une chose qui se passe très souvent en ce moment. Nous pouvons en tirer des enseignements pour toutes les missions à venir ou pour tous les peuples du monde qui souhaitent se rendre sur la Lune et j'ai entendu dire qu'ils étaient nombreux.

[Mat Kaplan]: Vous savez, c’est exactement là où je voulais aller et je suis ravi de vous entendre parler de missions futures. Vous avez déjà parlé de l'Inde, qui prépare bien sûr son atterrisseur lunaire, et certains de vos anciens concurrents du Google Lunar XPRIZE progressent également, et certains d'entre eux ont des affaires. [00:32:00] modèles et plans pour réaliser un profit. Que voyez-vous pour SpaceIL? Supposons que Beresheet passe son temps avec succès sur la Lune. Votre entreprise va-t-elle recommencer? Et tenterez-vous encore plus?

[Yoav Landsman]: SpaceIL, tout d’abord, c’est un NPO, donc ce n’est pas vraiment commercial …

[Mat Kaplan]: Oui, je veux dire sans but lucratif. Oui, vous êtes mis à part.

[Yoav Landsman]: … et nous le faisons pour l'éducation et incitons les gens à faire de telles choses et à poursuivre leurs rêves. Donc, ceci est juste un levier pour cela. Mais tout à coup, nous comprenons que nous faisons partie de l’énorme tendance mondiale à se rendre sur la Lune. Non seulement cela, mais nous sommes des pionniers. Nous sommes les premiers à le faire. Franchement, SpaceIL n’a pas de projets pour le prochain vaisseau spatial. Peut-être que d'autres industries en Israël vont prendre cela [00:33:00] mais peut-être que ce ne sera pas le cas après l'atterrissage et après la fin de la mission, nous nous séparerons probablement et irons dans d'autres directions. I do not know. Personnellement, j'aimerais faire quelque chose, comme ça ou même plus audacieux. La partie éducation se poursuivra car il est beaucoup plus simple de financer que d'amener un vaisseau spatial sur la Lune.

[Mat Kaplan]: Et comment.

[Yoav Landsman]: Ouais. Eh bien, c'est aussi un défi, nous devrons attendre et voir.

[Mat Kaplan]: Vous anticipez les questions que je veux vous poser, et la prochaine que je pensais concernait l’objectif de cette mission, celle-ci… l’inspiration, en particulier pour les jeunes dont vous venez de parler. Et apparemment, c'est quelque chose qui est très important pour vous.

[Yoav Landsman]: Il est. c'est très important pour moi. Avant SpaceIL, il y a plus de six ans, j'ai quitté le [00:34:00] Industries aérospatiales israéliennes. J'y ai travaillé pendant plus de 10 ans dans les satellites de communication pour le développement et les opérations, l'ingénierie des systèmes. Je suis parti parce que je voulais faire autre chose, quelque chose qui concerne davantage l'éducation, et je pensais que les enfants et moi donnions beaucoup de conférences et que je parlais aux gens. Il est très facile d’inspirer les gens de l’espace. Je ne sais pas pourquoi, mais c’est quelque chose qui excite très facilement d’un côté les gens, mais qui, de l’autre, n’est pas au courant. Presque rien sur l'espace. Et en Israël, je pense que c'est encore plus contradictoire. Most people don't know about the Israeli space industries, which is not very small for this kind of country because we have more than ten operational satellites right now in space. It's something that the industry doesn't tend to talk about because [00:35:00] in the beginning it was mostly military satellites, but currently most of them are commercial. Commercial imaging and commercial communications and even one… more than one actually, scientific missions and now a deep space mission, so something is changing. We in spaceIL wish to see this change will also arrive to the public. We arranged this group of about 200 lectures, volunteer lectures. That's a very awesome group that's going freely on the spare time to to schools and to kindergartens and all over the country even to very far places just to talk with the kids about what we're doing and get them inspired by it. When we got to the launch, we already seen more than 1 million [00:36:00] kids in this country and told them about what we're doing and we got for the launch we got so many photos a lot of work that the kids did in their school sessions and songs and video clips and animations and people went crazy about this. It was overwhelming. I don't think that that anyone in SpaceIL imagined that it will be so so vast, it was heartwarming. Yoav I'm going to make a prediction that in 15 or 20 years you and the other members of the team that put Beresheet to on the Moon will be constantly greeted by men and women who want to shake your hand and will tell you that this mission inspired them to become an engineer or scientist or just to become more science literate. So I congratulate [00:37:00] you since this is a goal we share at the Planetary Society.

[Yoav Landsman]: Thank you so much. It's very important to me personally. It's very important to us the organization of SpaceIL and we're doing this for the people in Israel and the people of the world in order to share our enthusiasm about space, about deep space, about exploration. It's very important to us to say that.

[Mat Kaplan]: What is the best way for our listeners and others to to follow the progress of the mission and perhaps to see some of what has happened with the educational component of the mission?

[Yoav Landsman]: We have a site, an internet site at Part of the site is specifically for children. Also in social media, we share every time we upload some new stuff and new ideas for activities, new videos. So follow us, by all means. [00:38:00] [Mat Kaplan]: I will and so will many of our listeners, I'm sure. And we wish you the greatest of success as barely more than a month from now Beresheet, which means in the beginning in Hebrew, makes its descent to the lunar surface. Best of luck to you.

[Yoav Landsman]: Thank you so much. I can't… I can't say in words what what I felt when you address me of doing this interview, so thank you Mat. I'm very excited about it.

[Mat Kaplan]: You are extremely welcome. We've been talking with Yoav Landsman. He is a Senior Systems Engineer at SpaceIL, which has sent Beresheet toward our planet's only natural satellite and with some luck in a few weeks will become only the fourth entity—three nations and SpaceIL—to have achieved a successful landing on the Moon.

[Yoav Landsman]: Thank you very [00:39:00] much.

[Mat Kaplan]: Time for What's Up on Planetary Radio. I am in the Planetary Society headquarters Ace Media Studio (former bank vault) with the Chief Scientist of the Planetary Society, Bruce Betts. Bienvenue.

[Bruce Betts]: Thanks. Good to see you, Mat.

[Mat Kaplan]: I have a couple of messages up front for you. As you know, we are once again giving away the coveted rubber asteroids. Perry Metzker in New York, New York. I cheered at the return of the rubber asteroids. May they remain plentiful and continue orbiting the podcast for billions of years to come.

[Bruce Betts]: Well, I don't know if we can promise that but I'm glad we got a bunch of them.

[Mat Kaplan]: A couple of eons might have to do, you might have to settle for that.

[Bruce Betts]: Might just be a couple eras, but whatever.

[Mat Kaplan]: You're going to like this one, too. Jason Gillette of Cleveland, Ohio. If I'm lucky enough to receive a rubber asteroid, I promise I will throw it at my friends heads and [00:40:00] yell, wouldn't have happened if you had a space program until they join the Society. Love the show, please keep up the good work.

[Bruce Betts]: Excellent. You should probably do that anyway. Well, no, maybe not. Don't throw rocks at your friends. But do encourage them to join the Planetary Society.

[Mat Kaplan]: We're going to have another opportunity to win a rubber asteroid in just moments after we hear about the night sky and all that other cool stuff that you have for us.

[Bruce Betts]: Okay. It's a good time to see Mercury. It's never a great time to see Mercury because it hangs out near the Sun. But if you look in the evening low in the west you might be able to pick it up. A little bit higher up, you can see Mars looking reddish and kind of a sort of bright star. In the pre-dawn, we've still got the planetary party going on from lowest to highest near the eastern horizon before dawn. You've got super bright Venus, less bright Saturn, and then bright Jupiter hanging out there. And on the 2nd of March you [00:41:00] can see the Moon hanging out with Venus. It'll be spectacular, crescent Moon and Venus. In the evening sky also check out Orion if yeah, you probably have with really bright stars and if you follow Orion's belt to the left for lack of a better term you'll find the brightest star in the sky Sirius and if your sky's not totally light polluted try to work out the shape of a dog. Sirius is in Canis Major and it's one of the few constellations I think at least looks like a stick figure dog.

[Mat Kaplan]: As Orion kind of looks like a guy with his arms up.

[Bruce Betts]: Exactly. Look I'm doing Orion. Woof.

[Mat Kaplan]: Down boy.

[Bruce Betts]: All right, we move on to This Week in Space History. It's the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 9 mission, Apollo 9 the Earth orbiting mission that tested out the Lunar Module for the first time in space. 40-year anniversary of the Voyager 1 [00:42:00] flyby of Jupiter in the beginning of the Voyager encounters in the outer solar system.

[Mat Kaplan]: That is quite an anniversary. Yeah, that's not one of the we've celebrated before. Of course, it wasn't the 40th was it? We could have done the 30th.

[Bruce Betts]: And I'm sure we did.

[Mat Kaplan]: Yeah, thank you. Somebody's going to look it up and tell us.

[Bruce Betts]: Okay. We move on to Random Space Fact.

[Mat Kaplan]: So much better in person.

[Bruce Betts]: Oh, yeah. So Apollo 9 with its test of the Lunar Module was the first time that people were ever in a spacecraft in space that could not safely return them to Earth. If things had failed when they were hanging out in the Lunar Module they were just well, they would be bad. But they didn't and all worked out wonderfully.

[Mat Kaplan]: Now they had a Command Module right next door, right? But they, I mean they did separate so I see what you mean.

[Bruce Betts]: Yeah, if they're flying separately and something that they couldn't go home in. So they were dependent just as of course the later [00:43:00] lunar missions were dependent on reconnecting with the Command Module that could bring them back in safely.

[Mat Kaplan]: They should have just gone to the Moon.

[Bruce Betts]: Yeah. That's how orbital dynamics works.

[Mat Kaplan]: Contest time.

[Bruce Betts]: All right. I asked you what are the two brightest stars in the Big Dipper? And foolishly, apparently I did not specify as seen from Earth in other words the apparent brightness as opposed to the absolute brightness. So, as much as it pains me, we will take either, and the answer I was looking for. Hey, you look up at the Big Dipper, what are the two brightest stars, but we'll take either. Go for it.

[Mat Kaplan]: Foolishly, apparently? Or foolishly, absolutely?

[Bruce Betts]: It was absolutely foolish not to include the… and turned out to be an apparent mistake.

[Mat Kaplan]: Howard Grahams, longtime listener, first-time winner as far as I can tell. He's in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Alpha and I don't know how to pronounce the first one there, I've [00:44:00] seen various pronunciations, dub… dub-howe? Dub- hey? Doo-bie?

[Bruce Betts]: As people who have listened long enough know, I have no idea. I pronounce it Dube-hey. And then of course Alioth.

[Mat Kaplan]: Both of which have an apparent magnitude of one-dot-eight, 1.8, which is pretty bright.

[Bruce Betts]: It is pretty bright and they just barely edged out Alkaid, which is 1.9.

[Mat Kaplan]: Congratulations to you therefore, Howard. And we are going to get you the very first of this new crop of Planetary Society Kick Asteroid rubber asteroids and a 200 point astronomy account. But I do have some other stuff first. This came from Naruhari Rao in SugarLand, Texas. We hear from him pretty regularly and I just thought it was an interesting story. He says there's a rather sad Arabic tradition according to which the constellation of the Big Dipper [00:45:00] is actually a funeral procession in which the four stars of the Dipper form the beer and the three stars of the handle are mourners following the coffin.

[Bruce Betts]: Wow. That's a cool cultural story, kind of a bummer.

[Mat Kaplan]: It is, but it's a nice indication of how different cultures look at the same stars and come up with very different meanings.

[Bruce Betts]: Gets the plow in the UK frequently and some other parts of Europe the saucepan.

[Mat Kaplan]: Here's Joseph Putraia, Fanwood, New Jersey. He says if we were to find bubbling water Springs on a planet around another star in the Dipper that you just mentioned Alkaid, would that be Alkaid Seltzer? He says, yes, I know. That's a Dubhe-ous joke.

[Bruce Betts]: Oh, cool.

[Mat Kaplan]: Like that.

[Bruce Betts]: Way to pun.

[Mat Kaplan]: Finally from our Poet Laureate, Dave Fairchild, in Shawnee, Kansas. The Dipper has just seven stars and Alioth [00:46:00] is one that leads the pack from front to back and is the brightest one with Dubhe coming close behind, although our eyes can't see, it isn't just a single but a spectro-binary. Thank you, Dave, and we'll move on.

[Bruce Betts]: Apparently, in an absolute sense, where will the Hayabusa2 sample return capsule land when it returns to Earth with samples of asteroid Ryuga? Go to

[Mat Kaplan]: You have until Wednesday, March 6 at 8 a.m. Pacific time to get us the answer. And as we said you might win yourself, you want to say it this time? A Planetary Society Kick Asteroid…

[Bruce Betts]: Rubber asteroid.

[Mat Kaplan]: Well done. And a 200 point account. You can do some astronomy, find some asteroids, from pretty much any place on Earth with those remote telescopes all over our planet.

[Bruce Betts]: All right, everybody go out there look up the night sky [00:47:00] and think about foam. Thank you and good night.

[Mat Kaplan]: Are you talking about the foam that covers the walls here in the Planetary Society studio, or the foam that apparently fills all of what we generally have talked about as the vacuum of space, the quantum foam?

[Bruce Betts]: Actually the foam that covers the inside of my room at home. Some people call it padding, and some people don't call it a home. Anyway, let's move on.

[Mat Kaplan]: He's Bruce Betts, the Chief Scientist of the Planetary Society, who joins us every week here for What's Up. Planetary Radio is produced by the Planetary Society in Pasadena, California. This made possible by it's wonderful members. MaryLiz Bender is our Associate Producer. Josh Doyle composed our theme, which was arranged and performed by Pieter Schlosser. I'm Mat Kaplan. Ad Astra and Ad Luna.

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