Israeli non-profit SpaceIL has declared that it will discontinue plans for a second moonshot after a crash landing in its original mission earlier this season. At the time, the company stated it would make a second try to land on the Moon, but a tweet from its official Twitter account today say that the team will instead continue to create the spacecraft Beresheet 2 for a different objective.
The original Beresheet made its mission to the Moon on April 11th but failed to stick the landing just minutes before the spacecraft reached the lunar surface. “According to preliminary investigation of the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet’s landing plan, it appears that a manual command was entered into the spacecraft’s computer,” SpaceIL stated in a statement at the time. “This led to a chain reaction in the spacecraft, during which the main engine switched off, which stopped it from activating further.”
Despite the crash landing, SpaceIL is calling its April mission a “successful, record-breaking journey,” adding that “an attempt to repeat a trip to the Moon is not enough of a challenge,” reports the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, other private groups are still marching on with their Moon landing missions slated for as early as 2020, including companies like Japan’s space and Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic. In addition to Astrobotic, NASA has also picked two additional companies to send robotic landers to the Moon — Orbit Beyond and Intuitive Machines.