Israel’s Beresheet is back on track to the moon after experiencing a glitch. If all goes according to plan, the spacecraft may land on the moon’s surface by April 11.
Glitch On Moon Mission
Israel’s lunar lander Beresheet is not on a straight path to the moon. Instead, it was launched into an elliptical orbit around the Earth, which grows longer with every maneuver of the craft. Eventually, the orbit will be long enough to place Beresheet close to the moon that it enters the lunar orbit and soon land.
However, the lunar lander experienced a bit of a glitch last Feb. 25, when it was supposed to be scheduled for a planned engine firing. Instead of completing the maneuver, the onboard computer suddenly reset.
Fortunately, mission team members were able to troubleshoot the issue and commence with the maneuver by Feb. 28 after completing examinations of the computer reset and implementing corrective measures. According to the mission team members, it was a small glitch that was solved in the software and that it is not something serious.
As such, if things go according to plan from here on out, Beresheet is expected to enter the lunar orbit by April 4 and touchdown the lunar surface by April 11.
Beresheet Moon Mission
Israel’s answer to the space race is the world’s first privately funded mission to the moon. Beresheet’s mission on the surface of the moon is to measure magnetic fields and other science work, but its other mission here on Earth is to inspire young children to pursue science, math, engineering, and technology.
Apart from those missions, Beresheet is also carrying a 30-million page archive of human civilization called the “Lunar Library” to preserve and safeguard human knowledge for millions of years in a digital library. One of its contents, for instance, is the entire English-language version of Wikipedia.