Israel will continue to shoot for the moon.
The team behind the American Beresheet probe, which crashed during its historic lunar landing attempt on Thursday, April 11, will take another slot at the nearest neighbor on Earth.
"We will actually build a new halalit – A new spaceship, "said billionaire and philanthropist Morris Kahn in a video statement posted on Twitter by the non-profit group SpaceIL. We will put it on the moon and carry out the mission. "
Related: The first Lander Beresheet of Israel in pictures
The work on Beresheet 2.0 will start immediately, he added: the team is meeting this weekend to start planning the new project.
Kahn is president of SpaceIL, which built and operated Beresheet with Israel Aerospace Industries. It also largely funded the mission, covering about 40% of its total cost of $ 100 million.
The dream continues! Morris Kahn has just announced the launch of Beresheet 2.0 # Beresheet2.0 #IsraeltotheMoon pic.twitter.com/fHlo3jeQ4WApril 13, 2019
Beresheet, whose name means "at the beginning" in Hebrew, launched in February a terrestrial orbit at the top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The little robot spent the next six weeks slowly pushing its orbit outward, getting closer and closer to the moon. On April 4, Beresheet was captured by lunar gravity, making Israel the seventh country to place a probe in orbit around the moon.
The touchdown attempt took place a week later. The success would have allowed Israel to enter an even more exclusive club. to date, only the Soviet Union, the United States and China have achieved a soft and lunar touch.
And these missions were all funded by the government. Beresheet's goal was to become the first privately funded machine to explore the moon's surface.
But that did not have to be. Beresheet had an engine problem during its descent on Thursday and hit the gray ground at 500 km / h.
SpaceIL debuted as a participant in the Google Lunar X Prize, a $ 30 million contest designed to stimulate the exploration of the private space. The GLXP ended last year without a winner, but SpaceIL continues to work on its mission, along with many other teams.
X Prize officials announced shortly after Thursday 's crash that the Beresheet team will still receive a special award of a million dollars.
"I think they managed to touch the surface of the moon, and that's what we were looking for our Moonshot price," said Anousheh Ansari, CEO of the X Prize,
The main goals of Beresheet were to advance Israel's space program and inspire enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering and mathematics among young people. And the mission managed to achieve both of these goals, even though it failed to land, said the Beresheet team members.
Indeed, Kahn invoked the important global reach of Beresheet to justify a new attempt.
He decided to create Beresheet 2.0 "in light of all the support I've received from around the world and wonderful messages of support, encouragement and enthusiasm," said Kahn in his video.
Mike Wall's book on the search for extraterrestrial life, "Over there"(Grand Central Publishing, 2018, illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.