On Tuesday, Israeli non-profit company SpaceIL announced that it will be renouncing their plans for a sending a second spacecraft to the moon, after the crash landing of the Beresheet probe earlier this year. Just days after the failed landing, the company had pronounced that they would make a second attempt to land a second spacecraft named Beresheet 2 on the surface of the Moon.
Beresheet, the world’s first privately funded moon lander hit the lunar surface during an attempted landing because of a technical glitch. However, after an in-depth discussion on the nature of Beresheet 2’s mission, the company SpaceIL stated via a tweet that they would continue to build the spaceprobe Beresheet 2 but it would be for a different objective.
This time, we will not go to the moon. Beresheet’s journey to the Moon was already received as a successful, record-breaking journey. Instead we will seek out another, significant objective for Beresheet 2.0. More details to follow… pic.twitter.com/W8absyxT1Y
— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) June 25, 2019
The original Beresheet made its mission to the Moon on April 11th, but failed to stick to the landing just moments before the spacecraft reached the lunar surface. Despite the crash landing, SpaceIL called its April mission a “successful, record-breaking journey,” citing that “an endeavor to repeat a trip to the Moon is not enough of a challenge”.
Meanwhile, other private groups are still going ahead with their Moon landing missions scheduled for as early as 2020, including companies like Japan’s iSpace and Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic. NASA has also picked up two more companies to send robotic landers to the Moon — Orbit Beyond and Intuitive Machines, in order to help the agency further study the lunar surface.