Home » News & Blogs » Op-Ed | Beresheet moon mission points to super low-cost lunar trips
Bookmark and Share
Space News

Op-Ed | Beresheet moon mission points to super low-cost lunar trips

23 Apr 2019, 17:03 UTC
Op-Ed | Beresheet moon mission points to super low-cost lunar trips
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

The Beresheet spacecraft is on the lunar surface, but sadly not in one piece. Though it crashed rather than soft-landed there, it is still a remarkable achievement most notably because it used the Earth’s and moon’s gravity rather than expensive rocket fuel to do most of the work to get it there. Even better, it is proof that the gravity-powered lunar cycler transport concept, developed by Apollo 11 Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, could make possible low-cost roundtrips to our nearest neighbor in space.
The Beresheet project originated in Israel. But while that country’s space agency and government company, Israel Aerospace Industries, were involved, the mission was designed and spacecraft constructed by the private nonprofit SpaceIL. SpaceIL had originally worked on the concept in pursuit of the private $20 million Google Lunar X-Prize. Unfortunately, no competitor met the 2018 launch deadline to win the prize, but the SpaceIL stuck with it.
Beresheet was privately financed by Israel-friendly parties. In addition, the mission cost only about $100 million, a fraction of the usual multibillion-dollar costs that the United States, Russia, and China spend to land spacecrafts on the moon. When you’re relying on enlightened individuals using their own money rather than governments with ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod