Broadcast landing on the moon [22: 00MSK April 11, 2019]
The upcoming Thursday evening before Cosmonautics Day turned out to be extremely successful! Fans of interplanetary travel are waiting for not only the first commercial launch of Falcon Heavy , but also a real moon landing !
The hero of this post is the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL , created in 2011, to participate in the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) contest, which offered a prize for landing a private automatic interplanetary station on the moon. Despite the fact that the GLXP contest ended without identifying the winner, SpaceIL managed to complete the construction of the Beresheet lunar probe and send it to the moon.
On February 21, 2019, the vehicle launched on the Falcon 9 launch vehicle and launched into orbit with the apogee of 60 thousand km. With the help of his own propulsion system, Beresheet lifted the apogee of the orbit so as to be captured by the gravitational attraction of the moon. It took almost 8 weeks. Before landing, he will make two turns around the moon. And tonight in Moscow we can watch Beresheet landing on the moon live!
UPD 22:25 Moscow time. Abnormal engine shutdown, then loss of communication with the device during the final maneuver during the approach. Most likely, the device is lost.
The planned landing site of the probe is the Sea of Clarity in the northern hemisphere, where one of the lunar magnetic anomalies is located, not far from the lunar landing site of the Luna-21 probe and the Apollon-17 ship. Since Bereshit does not have thermal protection and cooling systems, he will be able to work on the surface of the moon for about two days, until the electronics and batteries fail due to overheating. If successful, the probe will become the smallest and lightest device in history to land on the Earth’s natural satellite.
Image of wired.co.uk
The uniqueness of SpaceIL among the applicants for victory in GLXP was that instead of building a tracked or wheeled all-terrain vehicle, SpaceIL planned to satisfy the requirement to overcome 500 meters on the lunar surface, "jumping" from the landing site to another point 500 meters using rocket engines.