Tech glitch: Israeli spacecraft hits first snag on lunar voyage


The world's first private lunar lander has hit a snag en route to the moon.

"The control center has contact with the spacecraft according to plan and it continues its previous orbit until the next maneuver".

"During the pre-maneuver phase the spacecraft computer reset unexpectedly, causing the maneuver to be automatically cancelled", SpaceIL representatives said in a statement.

Opher Doron, the general manager of the Space Division at Israel Aerospace Industries, said that the engineers had not encountered a similar problem during simulations. "The engineering teams of SpaceIL and IAI are examining the data and analyzing the situation".

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SpaceIL's Beresheet lander launched toward the moon Thursday (Feb. 21) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The goal of the planned maneuver is to eventually steer the craft into the Moon's orbit when it overlaps with the Earth's. I am proud of SpaceIL and IAI teams who made this accomplishment possible with professional work, perseverance and collaboration, if everything goes well, the spacecraft will enter a cruising orbit around Earth within an hour from the launch.

Beresheet ('Genesis' in English), the Jewish state's first lunar spacecraft, experienced some technical difficulties on Monday night. ARSP.B1) today announced that the Beresheet spacecraft launched towards the moon on Friday had successfully performed its first maneuver.

Beresheet is now on its first orbit of Earth after successfully launching on Thursday on the back of a SpaceX rocket, but its journey to the moon may not be all smooth sailing: a Friday update from its operators stated the craft's star-based navigation system is experiencing problems due to glare from the sun.