Well, everything seemed to be lost last week when Israel’s maiden attempt at landing on the moon met with failure and the spacecraft Beresheet crashed on the lunar surface. But the country is in no mood to yield and take the failure lying down. According to a TechCrunch report, people behind Israel’s Space IL’s attempted landing on the moon convened today to plan a second trip to the moon. In a public announcement yesterday, the chairman of SpaceIL Morris Kahn said that the leaders behind the group that was involved with the launch of Beresheet have got together and will now start looking for new donors for another attempt at lunar landing.
“This is part of my message to the younger generation: Even if you do not succeed, you get up again and try,” Kahn said in a statement.
Had the $200 million-project succeeded, it would have been among the cheapest lunar landings ever attempted and it would have also marked the first attempt by a private entity to make it to the moon, even though the SpaceIL is significantly backed by the Israel government.
The project started as an attempt to claim Google Lunar Xprize. The price that was announced some 10 years ago has not been awarded to anyone as no has been able to claim it by attempting a successful landing in the timeframe specified. But the team at Beresheet laboured on with the help from Israel Aerospace Industries. In an attempt to cut the cost of the whole exercise, SpaceIL used existing launch technologies and used SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket to start its voyage. The spacecraft had entered the lunar orbit just a week ago before making the doomed landing on Thursday.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Peter Diamandis the founder of XPrize, and Anousheh Ansari, the foundation’s current chief executive, said:
“What I’m seeing here is an incredible ‘Who’s Who’ from science, education and government who have gathered to watch this miracle take place. We launched this competition now 11 years ago to inspire and educate engineers, and despite the fact that it ran out of time it has achieved 100 percent of its goal. Even if it doesn’t make it onto the ground fully intact it has ignited a level of electricity and excitement that reminds me of the Ansari Xprize 15 years ago.”
Ansari also emphasized the fact that the landing has a great potential to rekindle the excitement surrounding the commercial interest in space travel and that could mark a new chapter in lunar exploration.