SpaceIL, the nonprofit that designed Israel’s first lunar mission, Beresheet-1, has now contracted for the construction of Beresheet-2, which instead of being a single large lander will an orbiter and two small landers.
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) was the prime contractor for Beresheet, the lander it built for the nonprofit organization SpaceIL, one of the competitors of the former Google Lunar X Prize. Beresheet attempted to land on the moon in April 2019, but its main engine shut down prematurely during its descent, causing the spacecraft to crash. A later analysis found that one of two inertial measurement units on the spacecraft shut down during its descent, and the process of restarting it caused resets in the lander’s avionics that caused the engine to shut down.
After some initial uncertainty about its future plans, SpaceIL is moving ahead with a Beresheet 2 mission, and will once again have IAI build the spacecraft.
The article at the link focuses on the new design of Beresheet-2 (two landers and an orbiter), but that is old news, announced back in December 2020. That IAI has begun work however means SpaceIL has obtained the cash to pay it, possibly from the Israeli-UAE deal that was announced on October 20th.
That October 20th announcement did not mention a transfer of funds or Beresheet-2, but when SpaceIL revealed its plans for Beresheet-2 in December 2020, the nonprofit also said it was seeking financial support from the UAE. I suspect that support has come through.
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