In mid-February private of the Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL is going to send to the moon lander. The mission is designed to be the logical conclusion of the 11-year competition, aimed at stimulating the private sector in the commercial development of the satellite. The objectives of the mission – photos and video of the surface of the satellite, as well as research activities focused on studying the magnetic field of the moon. The success of the mission will allow Israel to become the fourth country – after Russia, USA and China, which will land your spacecraft on the lunar surface.
The lander, dubbed "Bereishit" (Beresheet) which means "in the beginning", will be launched by a launch vehicle, the Falcon 9 us company SpaceX from Cape Canaveral on February 19. The carrier will need to conduct on a geotransfer orbit new Indonesian telecommunications satellite, PSN-6, as well as small satellite in the interests of the U.S. government.
After the launch, the three spacecraft separated from the second stage of the Falcon 9 into orbit with an apogee of 60 thousand km. PSN–6 and his American companion will begin a correction for the release of the GSO, while the moon SpaceIL apparatus for three turns around the Earth will raise its orbit until it is captured by the gravity of the moon. Before planting, it will make two orbits around the satellite. The whole flight should take a little over two months.
The Weight of the Israeli apparatus is about 600 pounds, most of which are fuel costs (without mass "Bereishit" is less than 200 pounds). The landing module is planned to be implemented in one of the dark lunar impact craters on the visible side of the moon called the Sea of Clarity.
Landing apparatus "Bereishit" will be in a Sea of Clarity (marked with large circle). The small circle indicates the most probable location of the lunar landing
Founded in 2011 by three engineers private Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL participated in the contest Google Lunar X-Prize with a prize pool of $ 30 million. The aim of this competition was to develop the lunar Rover and send it to the satellite. The first team that would be able to handle this task would receive a prize of $ 20 million. Second and third place winners would split equally the remaining $ 10 million. In terms of competition, the device was able to move around the lunar surface for a distance of 500 meters and transmit to Earth pictures and videos in high resolution.
management of the company SpaceIL and the Minister of Science Technology Space Israel Ofir Akunis near the lunar landing module "Bereishit" before sending it to Florida
In the end the contest was closed in April 2018. None of the participants could not cope with the task, despite the many postponements of the deadline even 2017. However SpaceIL their purpose, refused. The company turned for help to private investors, eventually collecting on the project is approximately $ 95 million. The main patrons were Israeli businessman Morris Kahn and the American businessman Sheldon Adelson. Initially it was assumed that sending spacecraft to the moon will take place at the end of December 2018, but now the launch is scheduled for February 19.
Interestingly, the active support of the Israeli company also agreed to provide the space Agency NASA. For example, the Agency is going to connect to this project your Orbiter Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is circling around the moon since 2009. Using the probe, the Agency will attempt to detect mercury and hydrogen in the dust, which will rise by landing the Israeli apparatus to the surface. Also, LRO will survey the landing in the visible range.
Space center Goddard provided for installation on the Israeli SpaceIL camera system laser retroreflector. It is a set of corner reflectors (mirrors), which is used to provide ranging and positioning method, a pulsed laser ranging. At the same time use the set reflector is not immediately planned. Probe Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter equipped with a laser altimeter, however, he was never sent on the same retroreflector spacecraft missions, Apollo, fearing that the reflected signal can damage the Orbiter. To measure the distance between the Seating modules «Apollo» and the Earth uses a special NASA ground-based laser station. At the same time to use a device that will be installed at the Israeli machine will not work because it is too small for this. Why NASA left him «Pro stock». In the future the us space Agency plans to create a lunar navigation system on the basis of such laser retroreflectors installed on other spacecraft.
Finally, NASA will provide the Israeli team to access the system Deep Space Network used to communicate with devices of various space missions and is a system of powerful radio antennas, located in California, Spain and Australia. Of course, all this luxury will be provided by the Israeli team SpaceIL nebezvozmezdno. NASA wants to get a copy of all the data that will be collected by a single scientific instrument mounted on the lander "Bereishit" – magnetometer, which SpaceIL wants to conduct a study of "magnetic anomalies" in the Sea of Clarity.
In 1973, the magnetic field in this region has documented the Soviet station "Luna–21", and"Lunokhod-2". To power the device will use solar panels. "Bereishit" is missing the heat shield, which would allow him to survive the lunar night, so the expected term of work of station on the moon is two earth days.
An understanding of the nature of the magnetic field of the moon is the key to understand the nature of our satellite. While the Earth possesses a global magnetic field generated under the influence of the Earth's rotation, which creates the molten core of the planet constant flow of metal, our natural satellite these features does not have. Scientists however believe that around 3.6 billion years ago the Moon had a strong magnetic field. Israeli collected machine data, according to NASA, will help to better understand the history of the satellite.
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