Watch us live coverage of the moon landing a private spacecraft
In an interesting time we live. Yesterday we showed the first real photo of a black hole, we now expect no less interesting and to some extent also a historic event - the private landing of a spacecraft on the lunar surface. So far, board the satellite of our planet could all three countries. Today, the number could increase to four, of course, if all goes as planned.
With the launch of the first private Israeli space mission, whose goal is the landing of the spacecraft "Genesis" on Earth satellite using an American rocket company SpaceX Falcon 9 February 21, 2019. Mission operators are privately owned Israeli aerospace company SpaceIL, as well as the government's concern Israel Aerospace Industries (he made the lander assembly).
The last six weeks since the launch of the device, slowly but surely, through a series of corrective maneuvers away from the Earth and closer to the lunar orbit, which he finally came on April 4. There he spent the last week in preparation and anticipation of the climax part of the mission - in fact most attempts to carry out a soft landing on the lunar surface.
This moment should come to pass today. The event will be broadcast live on YouTube-channel company SpaceIL (player below) from the mission control center. Also, the progress of planting can be followed on the official website of the company to Facebook. Broadcast started at 21:45 MSK.
If all goes well, Israel will join the list of countries (the USA, the USSR and China), which was able to gently land the spacecraft on the lunar surface. As the landing site of the mission team, "Bereshit" chose the Sea of Tranquility - a large lowland, located at close to our view the moon's surface. Here, at the time a landing spacecraft lunar American "Apollo" program.
surface topography 140 km spacecraft landing zone "Genesis"
After planting, a few days before the lunar module of the night will be engaged in various activities. Of course, the main task - to successfully land a spacecraft, thereby checking the current engineering capabilities (read: to amuse your self-esteem), therefore any kind of research and other activities here are rather secondary importance. Nevertheless, apart from the obvious photographing the moon's surface, "Genesis" has to perform a couple more important tasks. The first is in delivering the moon special device - the retroreflector, which is a laser mirror system, by means of which the machine can carry out the distance calculations to Earth. More information about this can be found in one of our previous articles.
The second problem "Bereshita" associated with the scientific aspect. The module must conduct measurements of the magnetic field of the satellite. As an additional "bonus", the machine will bring the moon Israeli flag, a large set of English-language articles "Wikipedia", a copy of the Bible, as well as drawings by Israeli children within the local scientific and educational programs.
It should be reminded that the mission of "Genesis" started out as a project for the competition Google Lunar X Prize, launched in 2007. Within its framework, the participants were asked to create a lunar rover and land it on the surface of Earth's satellite, conducting photo and video and move along the surface of at least a few tens of meters. The first team that could handle this task, promised $ 20 million in prize money. However, none of the participating teams did not have time to the announcement of the deadline. Therefore, the prize remains unclaimed. Israeli SpaceIL, developer of "Bereshita", decided to continue work on its module and attracted to this private investment. The project cost has increased to $ 100 million (including startup). Seeing the success of a private company, the organizers of the Lunar X Prize decided to award the Israeli startup. In case of successful landings, the company will receive an incentive prize Moonshot Award in the amount of $ 1 million. It should also be noted that the project "Genesis" - is not the only mission, associated with the moon this year. For example, in early January on the back surface of the satellite made a soft landing Chinese lander and rover mission "Chang'e-4." The couple had already passed through the third lunar night and continues to work for the benefit of China. Its first moon mission, "Chandrayaan-2" on the landing vehicle on the moon's surface in this year plans to the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The US space agency NASA previously repeatedly stated that this year will begin the first phase of a program aimed at human return to the moon in 2024. Until the end of 2019 the agency plans to send a satellite to several commercial landers with scientific instruments on board.
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