Watch live now: Israel's spaceship Beresheet fails to land on the moon
The privately funded SpaceIL ship got close to the lunar surface but could not land.
Are you looking to watch the historic moon landing of Israel's Beresheet ship? You've come to the right place. The video will be available here to watch on Thursday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. ET on April 11. So you'll want to bookmark this page now.
Thursday, April 11, 3:30 a.m. EST: SpaceIL has updated the landing time. The live stream will start around 2:45 p.m. EST. The landing process will start at 3:05 p.m. EST and the planned landing time is at 3:25 p.m. EST.
Wednesday, April 10, 12:40 p.m. EST: The engineering teams of SpaceIL and IAI successfully performed the final maneuver before the Beresheet lands on the moon. The maneuver lowered the spacecraft’s altitude in preparation for its landing tomorrow. Having completed the maneuver, the spacecraft will continue to orbit the moon in an elliptical orbit every two hours.
Wednesday, April 10, 9:05 a.m EST: At six simultaneous press conferences held around the world, astronomers briefly took the spotlight away from the moon when they unveiled the first-ever photograph of a black hole. Both big space news events this week – the moon landing and the black hole picture – were inspired by Albert Einstein.
Tuesday, April 9, 1:42 p.m. EST: Excitement is building across the entire nation as the historic moment draws closer. Watch parties are being planned across the country, and many are likening it to the iconic moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the moon. The two landings are occurring exactly fifty years apart.
Tuesday, April 9, 12:15 p.m. EST: On Tuesday, the SpaceIL team conducted another maneuver around the moon. With the completion of this maneuver, the ship is less than 125 miles away from the lunar surface. There will be one more such maneuver before Thursday's landing.
Monday, April 8, 10:15 a.m. EST: On Monday morning, the ship successfully performed yet another maneuver, brining it into even tighter orbits of the lunar surface. As of that moment, the Beresheet is now closer to the moon than Tel Aviv is to Eilat.
And the rest of the story:
The Beresheet's landing site will be on the northern hemisphere of the moon in what's known as the Sea of Tranquility, the same general area as the Apollo 11 landing site. The historic landing will make Israel only the fourth country to ever land on the moon, barely beating out a fast-moving spaceship from India that is on a similar mission. Moreover, it marks the first privately funded trip to the moon.
The ship – dubbed Beresheet, Hebrew for Genesis – will conduct scientific experiments for NASA on the lunar surface. This was always planned as a one-way mission, and the car-sized craft will remain on the moon for the foreseeable future. Aboard the ship is a time capsule holding three discs – each containing hundreds of digital files. Among them are drawings of the moon and space by Israeli children, MP3 files of Israeli songs, works of Israeli art and literature and photos of Israeli landscapes.
Also aboard the ship is the Lunar Library, a 30 million-page archive of human history and civilization all stored on what appears to be a typical DVD – covering all subjects, cultures, nations, languages, genres, and time periods. In case anything happens to our planet, scientists are hoping that this "civilization backup" will remain on the moon as a record of our time on Earth. "It is very possible that future generations will find this information and want to learn more about this historic moment," said Yonatan Winetraub, one of the people behind the mission.
Although the moon is "only" about 240,000 miles away from Earth, the Beresheet has not taken a direct path. By the time it lands, and taking into account more than a dozen trips orbiting the Earth, the ship will have traveled more than 3.4 million miles.
Winetraub concluded our conversation with one final request. "Please ask your readers to keep their fingers crossed because we can use all the help that we can get." In the meantime, he said, "I've been practicing holding my breath."
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Related Topics: Space