From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
According to an official with Israel’s government-owned aerospace manufacturer, Israel is still planning a second Beresheet mission to land an unmanned probe on the Moon, despite the failure of Beresheet earlier this year.
But despite the hard landing, Israel has no intent to stop chasing the moon, Hayun said. (Shortly after the crash, the SpaceIL organization behind the mission suggested it would target a different destination than the moon; it’s unclear what will happen on that front.) The team behind Beresheet has mostly stayed on, he said during his presentation, and they intend to fly a new version of the lander within two or 2.5 years.
The successor spacecraft would include some design tweaks meant to increase the mission’s odds of landing softly. New versions will carry upgraded computers and, unlike the original Beresheet spacecraft, will be armed with an obstacle-avoidance system for landing. But Israel’s future landers will still be compact and still work with rideshare launches, Hayun said.
As much as I sincerely hope this happens, I am somewhat skeptical. First of all, a number of key Israeli engineers left SpaceIL to form a partnership with the U.S. company Firefly. Second, this presentation appears to have been very vague on where they intend to get their funding. If anything, it appears to be a sales effort to find that money.
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