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Beresheet, originally designated SpaceIL, is a lunar lander funded and built by the non-profit organization SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, with technical support from the Israel Space Agency. The mission launched on 22 February 2019 at 01:45 UT and attempted to land on the Moon on 11 April. Main engine failure resulted in a crash on the lunar surface.

The landing craft is a four-legged circular platform with a launch mass of about 585 kg. It stands 1.5 meters high, and 2 meters in diameter. It holds approximately 435 kg of fuel. Solar panels mounted on top of the spacecraft deck provide power. The lander will carry imagers, a magnetometer, and a laser retroreflector.

After launch as a secondary payload (the primary payload is the PSN-6 communications satellite) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Cape Canaveral, Beresheet separated at an altitude of 60,000 km and went into an elliptical Earth orbit. From there it made a 6-minute braking maneuver to be captured into a 500 x 10,000 km lunar orbit on April 4 at 14:18 UT, and then moved into a 200 km circular orbit over the next week. This was followed by an autonomous landing procedure on April 11. A problem with the main engine resulted in the spacecraft reaching velocities of the 500 km/hr as it approached the surface. At 19:25 UT with the spacecraft about 150 meters above the surface, communications were lost and the spacecraft impacted the surface, ending the mission. The impact site was imaged by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and determined to be at 32.5956 N, 19.3496 E in Mare Serenitatis. The plan was for Beresheet to land in Mare Serenitatis and transmit data from the surface for about 2 days.

Alternate Names

  • 44049

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2019-02-22
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States
Mass: 150 kg

Funding Agency

  • Unknown (Israel)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Dr. David R. Williams



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