Last week, the first privately funded spacecraft launched into space from one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
It was one of the most uplifting news for citizens of Israel and her President Reuven Rivlin who had thrown a pajama party at the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem with children to watch the live broadcast.
The launch had not only made waves, but it had also made Israel the fourth country in history to launch a craft bound for earth’s biggest star, behind Russia, USA, and China.
For the team that worked behind the development of the Beresheet lander, SpaceIL, their joy was immeasurable. They had collaborated with the Education Ministry to roll out initiatives to support Israeli students and teachers while monitoring the craft’s data from Weizmann Institute.
But recently, everything seems to be spiraling out of control as the craft hit a setback just a day after successfully launching into space.
The Beresheet, spaceborne, was supposed to perform an engine burn which would’ve lifted its elliptical orbit around our planet. But the computer systems of the craft reset itself, causing the scheduled leap to be missed.
SpaceIL’s engineers are currently examining the data to investigate what must’ve happened.
The General Manager of the Space Divison of the Israel Aerospace Industries, Opher Doron noted that the engineers had not encountered such occurrence when they ran several simulations before the launch.
The anxiety was further buried when SpaceIL CEO, Dr. Ido Anteby disclosed that the engineers were more optimistic, even though the snap appeared worrisome. He disclosed that the team was currently checking if the unfortunate reset of the engines was a problem from the star navigation system.
One of the engineers also divulged that the team was discussing whether to put off the planned maneuvers, in order to properly check the navigation of the craft.
Concerning the scheduled date of the landing, the engineers noted that April 11th is still the proposed date, as they had built in a couple of buffer days in the event of delays.