After failed lunar landing, SpaceIL bounces back with Beresheet 2.0

israel beresheet landing live getty
Tamara Zieve/Getty

This week the SpaceIL project to send a spacecraft to the moon suffered a sad ending when the Beresheet craft crashed into the moon’s surface, rendering it inoperable. But the plucky Israeli team is not giving up, and they have announced their plans for Beresheet 2.0.

The craft successfully managed to enter lunar orbit and even snapped a selfie as it began its landing procedure, showing the moon’s surface just 22 kilometers beneath. But as it reached an altitude of 14 kilometers, the problems began. According to a statement from SpaceIL, “a technical glitch in one of Beresheet’s components triggered the chain of events” which led to the crash.

What we do know is that an engine malfunction occurred, although the exact cause hasn’t been announced, and the team at ground control had to restart the main engine. Although the restart was successful, according to the statement “by that time, its velocity was too high to slow down and the landing could not be completed as planned.”

To understand what went wrong, SpaceIL is planning to perform what it describes as “comprehensive tests” on all parts of the craft.

But this isn’t the ending for the SpaceIL project. As Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, said while observing the landing attempt from SpaceIL mission control: “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.” The primary funder of SpaceIL, entrepreneur Morris Kahn, has announced his intention to provide funding for Beresheet 2.0.

“We’re going to build a new spacecraft, we’re going to put it on the moon, and we’re going to complete the mission,” Kahn said in a statement on Twitter on Saturday. The team is planning to begin work on the new craft immediately, and Space IL welcomed the news with the statement that “The dream goes on!”

The SpaceIL team is experiencing an outpouring of support from both the public and from other space agencies. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine shared his condolences and good wishes after the failed landing, saying in a statement: “We congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries, and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress. I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements.”

Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX’s main Falcon Heavy booster is lost at sea after falling off drone ship

SpaceX has lost the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket after a successful mission last week that ended with it landing on a drone ship. SpaceX said rough seas resulted in the rocket toppling over and falling into the ocean.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

NASA is building an inflatable space robot named King Louie

NASA is funding an inflatable robot called King Louie which could travel to the stars in deflated form and then be blown up when and where required. Here is why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.
Smart Home

I have seen the future, and it’s full of salad-making robots

Think that robots bussing tables, tossing salads and baking bread is a futuristic concept? It's actually not as far away as you might think. Robots took center stage at a food robotics summit in San Francisco this week, where they showed…
Emerging Tech

U.S. police are testing out Batman-style bola guns to catch criminals

U.S. police are taking a page out of Batman’s playbook with a new grappling hook gun, called the BolaWrap, which fires out a kevlar cord able to tie up assailants in the blink of an eye.
Emerging Tech

U.S., U.K. embrace autonomous robot spy subs that can stay at sea for months

Unmanned, autonomous robot spy submarines that are able to stay at sea for months at a time may be coming to both the United States and its ally across the pond, the U.K. Here's what we know so far.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.
Emerging Tech

Meet the gene-edited bacteria that could make cannabis plants obsolete

Ever wanted to brew cannabis like you brew craft beer? At UC Berkeley, biologists have managed to engineer brewer’s yeast so that it produces the main cannabinoids found in marijuana.