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SpaceIL Reveals Preliminary Reasons Behind Beresheet Crash

22 Apr 2019, 19:33 UTC
SpaceIL Reveals Preliminary Reasons Behind Beresheet Crash
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A command intended to correct a malfunction in one of the Beresheet spacecraft’s inertial measurement unit led to a chain of events that turned off its main engine during landing, according to a preliminary investigation conducted by SpaceIL.While a full investigation will be completed in the coming weeks, SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby said Wednesday that the inertial measurement unit (IMU) malfunction during the landing maneuver was its first failure during the seven-week mission to the moon.A chain of events caused by a command sent from the SpaceIL control room turned off the spacecraft’s main engine and prevented proper engine activation, Anteby said, making a crash landing on the moon inevitable.The malfunction occurred only minutes before Beresheet, developed by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, was due to complete a historic landing – a feat previously achieved only by the United States, Russia (then the USSR) and China – after an epic 6.5 million km. journey since it blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on board a SpaceX rocket on February 22.“There was no incident like this since the mission began,” Anteby told reporters. “After it occurred, an activation command was sent to [the IMU], causing a chain of events in ...

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