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Still Waters

Israel robot sets its sights on the moon

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Still Waters

Israel is about to launch its first attempt to land on the Moon.

The Beresheet robot is a privately funded venture that aims to land and hop across the lunar surface.

It's a challenging prospect. Only government space agencies from the US, Russia and China have previously managed soft touchdowns.

The 1.5m-high, 585kg Beresheet will begin its mission with a ride to Earth orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Once ejected from this vehicle, the robot will then use its British-built engine to propel itself to the Moon. The journey will take over two months to complete.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47313486

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ChrLzs

I see the BBC article thankfully didn't use the 'artists impression' that has popped up elsewhere, eg here:

First up, I have seen worse image creations, but not many.. - a few comments:

1. The moon's curvature has been exaggerated.

2. The craters look unusually consistently shaped and sized

3. The surface of the moon appears to be sunlit, yet the lightrays near the earth suggest the Sun is behind earth (see below also).  The darkening of the surface towards the horizon makes no sense - there are no clouds/atmosphere on the Moon...

4. There is no sign of thruster operation (but perhaps it is between pulses..)

5. The earth looks to be about two thirds daylit, yet the light rays/diffraction spikes suggest the Sun is behind the earth.  the carter shadows suggest the sun is more centrally located, to the left of the earth.  Neither of those positions would result in 2/3 daylighting.

6. The stars (and even more so, any nebulosity) would not be visible if any daylight is showing, and it clearly is.  This is almost forgivable for aesthetic purposes, but here it is particularly overdone.

7. Finally, the starfields shown are made up - it doesn't show any recognisable constellations / star groupings.  If I was doing one of these, I would make my star layout 'real' - it's not at all difficult to do.

 

OK, I'm being a nerd, but that image belongs nowhere except maybe a children's book.  Space Illustrators around the globe, please take note and improve...

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ChrLzs

The SpaceX launch went well (in very windy conditions..) and the spacecraft is now in orbit, awaiting the signals to send it on the trajectory to the moon.

SpaceX also successfully relanded their booster so it can be re-used.

https://mashable.com/article/spacex-falcon9-moon-lander-launch/#bg2EaV2CzZq4

 

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Derek Willis

So stars can be seen from the Moon - more proof that the Apollo missions were faked!

But seriously, I was surprised to read how after all the effort of building and launching the probe, once it is on the surface of the Moon it will only operate for two days. Apparently it will overheat due to not having any thermal control. Some of the Surveyor probes launched in the 1960's survived for a long time - for instance Surveyor 1 lasted over seven months. Their thermal control was white paint! Perhaps I have misread something.

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Farmer77

So ....um.... this project cost Israel 100 million USD....um.....didnt we just give them like 40 Billion USD in "aid"?

 

 

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and then
18 hours ago, Derek Willis said:

So stars can be seen from the Moon - more proof that the Apollo missions were faked!

But seriously, I was surprised to read how after all the effort of building and launching the probe, once it is on the surface of the Moon it will only operate for two days. Apparently it will overheat due to not having any thermal control. Some of the Surveyor probes launched in the 1960's survived for a long time - for instance Surveyor 1 lasted over seven months. Their thermal control was white paint! Perhaps I have misread something.

Small steps...

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Waspie_Dwarf
20 hours ago, Farmer77 said:

So ....um.... this project cost Israel 100 million USD....um.....didnt we just give them like 40 Billion USD in "aid"?

 

 

This project didn't cost Israel a penny. It's privately funded.

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and then
On 23/02/2019 at 4:47 AM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

This project didn't cost Israel a penny. It's privately funded.

They are an exemplary source of innovation and forward looking scientific endeavors.  

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Still Waters

Latest: 

Quote

Israeli Moon Lander Snaps Epic Space Selfie with a Full Earth

https://www.space.com/israel-moon-lander-earth-selfie.html

 

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bison

An unusual orientation of the Earth. North at left, instead of at the top. Besides Australia, right of center, Southeast Asia is visible at the left edge of the planet.  Of course there is no 'correct' orientation in space, merely the convention, which began with maps, of North at the top.  

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bison
Posted (edited)

Israel's Beresheet Lunar lander is set to go into an elliptical orbit of the Moon tomorrow at 14:15 GMT, provided it's engine firing goes as planned.  Failing that, the probe could escape the Moon's gravity and go into solar orbit. So far only Russia, the United States and China have managed to soft-land space probes on the Lunar surface. 

 

Edited by bison
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bison

The Beresheet lander appears to have executed the the rocketry maneuver intended to place it in Lunar orbit. It will take some hours to confirm that the probe is actually in orbit of the Moon, as expected. 

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bison
Posted (edited)

It's being reported that Israel's Beresheet Lunar lander has successfully entered an elliptical orbit of the Moon. It will make a series of rocket burns to circularize its orbit over the next week, and then one final burn for landing on the 11th, in the Sea of Serenity. Beresheet will operate on the Moon for only a few days. If all goes well, it will be the first spacecraft made and financed by a private firm to land on the Moon. 

Edited by bison
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marsman
On 2/21/2019 at 2:05 PM, Still Waters said:

Israel is about to launch its first attempt to land on the Moon.

The Beresheet robot is a privately funded venture that aims to land and hop across the lunar surface.

It's a challenging prospect. Only government space agencies from the US, Russia and China have previously managed soft touchdowns.

The 1.5m-high, 585kg Beresheet will begin its mission with a ride to Earth orbit on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Once ejected from this vehicle, the robot will then use its British-built engine to propel itself to the Moon. The journey will take over two months to complete.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47313486

 

Its there!

Israel's Beresheet lander finally concluded a long, spiraling journey out of Earth's orbit and into the moon's, and the SpaceIL team celebrated by releasing stunning photographs the spacecraft captured of the far side of the moon.

The spacecraft successfully entered lunar orbit yesterday (April 4) in preparation for landing on April 11. The occasion makes Israel the seventh nation to build a spacecraft that has successfully orbited the moon.

SpaceIL didn't provide many details about the photographs themselves, but did note that the image of the lunar surface was taken from about 292 miles (470 kilometers) above the moon.

https://www.space.com/israeli-lander-moon-far-side-photos.html

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bison

Israel's Beresheet lander will fire its rockets for the last time tomorrow, and reach the surface of the Moon between 19 and 20 hours GMT. Since it's not very well protected from temperature extremes, Bereshet is expected to last for just a few days. After that, the heat of the Sun will presumably render it inoperable. 

The Moon is currently waxing. Sunlight will reach the landing site, in the Sea of Serenity, tomorrow. From that point onward the temperature will continue to rise , until it reaches about 127 degrees Celsius (260 degrees F.). 

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bison
Posted (edited)

Israel's Beresheet Lunar lander lost contact with ground control very shortly before it was to land on the Moon. It apparently crashed into the Lunar surface at about 19:25 GMT. Beresheet had been working well until this fatal malfunction. An article with further details, including a brief history of the mission, is linked below:

https://www.space.com/israeli-beresheet-moon-landing-attempt-fails.html

Edited by bison
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fred_mc

Sad that it crashed :-( . The lander got quite some attention here in Sweden since the Esrange space base in northern Sweden was used to send commands to the lander.

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bison

They're saying now that the retro-rockets, needed to slow Beresheet down for landing, fired only intermittently. This allowed the lander to descend too rapidly for it to survive the impact with the surface.  

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NCC1701

It all went wrong after sending the selfie. Why on earth are they going to take a selfie with a multimillion spacecraft that is in a very critical phase of operation.

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Waspie_Dwarf
On 4/13/2019 at 6:08 PM, NCC1701 said:

It all went wrong after sending the selfie. Why on earth are they going to take a selfie with a multimillion spacecraft that is in a very critical phase of operation.

How does the operation of the camera in any way affect the landing?

What we have here is a classic case of assuming that correlation equals causation. This is a formal logical fallacy known as "cum hoc ergo propter hoc" Just because two events occur at the same time does not mean that one caused the other.

In fact an on-board sensor malfunctioned, commanding a premature shut down of the engine... nothing to do with selfies.

On 4/13/2019 at 6:08 PM, NCC1701 said:

Why on earth are they going to take a selfie with a multimillion spacecraft that is in a very critical phase of operation.

Taking images during descent has become fairly common practice. Such images help pin-point the exact location of the touch down. This is particularly useful in the case of a landing failure. Knowing exactly where Beresheet crashed will help NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter image the crash site, which may offer more information as to what went wrong.

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