Will Israel's first mission to the moon be suppressed just days after its launch?
Last Friday (Israeli time, Thursday evening), the Israeli built Beresheet Luners satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Israel's first space mission.
On Sunday, the control team of the unmanned spacecraft in Ramat Gan (Israel) announced that Beresheet had completed its first scheduled maneuver.
Problems, however, began to develop subsequently, following failures reported in the spacecraft's star tracking navigation system.
Then on Monday night, the spacecraft failed to execute a programmed maneuver, after the onboard system reset itself to an apparent problem.
The defeat prompted questions on Tuesday morning about the spacecraft's ability to complete its mission on the moon on time – or not at all.
SpaceIL, the private company behind the launch, is still confident that Beresheet will complete its lunar landing on schedule, to reach the moon's surface on April 11th.
Dr. Ido Antebi, CEO of SpaceIL, said that, at least for the moment, it does not appear that the malfunction prevents the spacecraft from landing on the moon in a timely manner.
"If we can fix the malfunction within a day or two, there is no reason for the problem to force a change in the date of arrival on the moon."
But others seemed less certain, Arutz Sheva has learned.
When Ofer Doron, senior official of Israel Aerospace Industries, was asked on Tuesday morning, if Monday night's dysfunction aboard the shuttle Beresheet would endanger the mission on the moon, he said the issue was still in the air. 'examination.
"We still do not know, we are studying the issue. For now, I'm not terribly worried, "said Doron, adding that" the more we understand the cause of the malfunction, the more we will prevent it. "
"Basically, all this happened when there was no communication," continued Doron.
"And, just as we sometimes see in the movies that they are about to lose communication, they lose it. They know that it will happen and they are waiting with this huge impatience, this anticipation, the wait for the restoration of communications. and he never comes back to the exact moment you expect. So, you wait and wait and wait – and you finally recover the communications. First of all, you are happy that the communications have come back, then you see that the maneuver has not been completed and you are trying to understand why. There were moments of great suspense in the control room last night.