Israel’s Failed Beresheet Will Live in the Design of New Moon Spacecraft from Firefly Aerospace

In April, the first lunar lander of Israel crashed against the surface of the moon; however, the design of the ill-fated space probe can live on in future missions to the moon. The American company Firefly Aerospace has pronounced that it has been working with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to construct a new lunar vehicle depending on the blueprints of the crashed space probe. Firefly stated that this new space vehicle would be constructed on “lessons learned” from the accident to make certain that the new lander doesn’t face the same fate.

The space capsule that was developed by IAI was called Beresheet, and if it had succeeded in its mission, it would have been the first privately financed spacecraft to touch down the surface of the Moon. While Beresheet was successfully fired and it orbited around the Moon, its landing failed as the main engine of the space-probe was temporarily damaged during its landing to the surface. As a result, Beresheet came in too quickly and slammed the Moon’s surface instead of settling down lightly.

After the accident, the nonprofit that operated the spacecraft, SpaceIL, pledged to send another spacecraft to the Moon called Beresheet Shtayim, or Beresheet “Two.” However, last month, SpaceIL finally decided to dump the second Moonshot to concentrate on an unmentioned space mission.

Now, parts of the Beresheet design are getting another opportunity at landing on the Moon. Firefly Aerospace is one of nine companies that NASA has picked as part of the agency’s CLPS program — a drive to send small robotic spacecraft to the lunar surface. NASA recently chose three of the nine companies to send the very first space probe to the Moon for the program; however, Firefly is still in the supervision and could be picked for forthcoming missions.

If Firefly does mount a lunar mission, the company’s lander, called Genesis, will leverage much of the Beresheet design as well as the IAI team’s flight experience. Shea Ferring, Firefly’s vice president of mission assurance, in a statement stated that Firefly Aerospace is exhilarated to partner with IAI to provide the only NASA CLPS program flight-proven lander design.

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