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After Launch, SpaceIL Lander Performs 1st Maneuver

It has been declared by SpaceIL on February 24, 2019, that Beresheet lander has successfully performed their 1st ever maneuver after it was kept in a supersynchronous transfer orbit on February 21, 2019 by Falcon 9. The main thruster of the spacecraft then burnt for half an hour which in turn made the perigee of the orbit to go higher, revolving the earth to 600 kilometers.

SpaceIL informed that the spacecraft has been performing quite well since the launch. The deployment of the landing legs was a real success. However, there was some issue with the star trackers. The company mentioned soon after the launch that the star trackers of the spacecraft have been facing high sensitivity due to sun’s rays. SpaceIL made a statement on February 24, 2019 regarding the orbital maneuver. They have observed the problems that were with the star trackers post launch. The details of the problem, however, were not mentioned. Overall, the launch had been quite a success.

The actual reason for the manufacture and development of the lander was due to a competition for winning Google Lunar X Prize. Approximately $100 million fund was provided by well wishing philanthropists. The venture for the project is still on. But Google has removed their sponsorship from the competition and prize money.

The lander, originally made by Israel Aerospace Industries, after the success of the launch showed interest in making the platform available for commercial use. Back in January, there was a deal made with OHB, a German company, to make such more landers for missions of European Space Agency or space agencies of other countries. Certain changes are required in the lander, such as – instead of solid state batteries, the companies feel that lithium-ion batteries would perform better for lunar missions. The power supply would be comparatively better.

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