The spacecraft "Bereshit" private IsraeliSpaceIL, currently heading towards the Moon, experienced an incomprehensible computer crash before the second engine start to adjust the course. At the moment, mission engineers are analyzing the situation, but the details of what exactly caused this behavior of the device are reported so far. It is noted that the module systems are now working normally.
"In preparation for the maneuver, the onboard computer“Bereshita” unexpectedly rebooted, and the engine start was automatically canceled. Engineering teams analyze the situation, but so far all of the onboard are working normally, ”the SpaceIL team reported on Twitter.
Recall that the "Bereshit" was successfully launched inspace last Thursday with the Falcon 9 launch vehicle. Initially, it was created as part of the Lunar XPrize project, which was organized by Google. Private companies were asked to create a full moon rover and send it to the Earth satellite. The winner was promised 20 million dollars, who took the 2nd and 3rd places were asked to divide 10 million dollars. Unfortunately, none of the participants had time to set deadlines for contests. Therefore, the project covered. However, SpaceIL decided to continue developing its module, with the support of private investors. The peculiarity of this device is that it is supposed to jump on the surface of the Moon. Having pushed off from the surface, he should fly 500 meters and gently lean back, taking photos of the satellite surface.
Last week, the company sent its machineinto near-earth space. He is expected to spend about 2.5 months there, gradually increasing his orbit until he finally reaches the lunar one. To do this, he needs to perform several corrective maneuvers. The first such maneuver (successful) unit performed at the weekend. The module turned on its engine, proving that it is fully operational.
The second maneuver Israeli engineers plannedhold today, but before turning on the engine, the probe electronics detected an incomprehensible failure in the on-board computer and shut off them urgently.
General Director of SpaceIL Ido AntebiHe said that the failure in the orientation system “did not give grounds for postponing the landing date of the spacecraft“ Bereshit ”to the Moon.” According to Dr. Antebi, the company's specialists will be able to "solve the problem in a day or two, and it will not affect the flight schedule."
If this is the case, the module will have toreach the moon in about the second half of April. Landing on the satellite is planned to be carried out in a huge lunar crater called the Sea of Clarity - Luna-21 and Apollo-17 used to sit next to this place.
It is expected that Bereshit will be able to work onsatellite surface for two days. During this time, scientists hope to conduct a series of measurements of the magnetic field of the moon using an instrument developed by physicists at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot.
Such a short period of operation of the device due to the fact that it does not have thermal protection, as well as the cooling system, so its electronics during this time are likely to overheat or freeze.
If Bereshit can still land on the Earth’s satellite, then this will be the first time that a private spacecraft with scientific equipment has successfully landed on the moon.
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