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Israel lunar lander hitches ride on SpaceX launch with Indonesian comsat – Spaceflight Now

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket extends into a starry sky Thursday night. Credit: SpaceX An Israeli-built lunar lander aiming to become the first privately funded mission reaches another planetary body shaved away from Cape Canaveral on Thursday evening aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which runs piggyback with an Indonesian communications spacecraft and an experimental US Air Force Space Surveillance Microsatellite. The Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida's 1.7 million pound of shore, moving east on a runway across the Atlantic at a thunderous departure marking this year's first launch from Cape Canaveral. Nine Merlin 1D main engines ignited during the last three seconds of Thursday night's countdown, and hold-down restrictions released the 229 foot (70 meter) launch at 8:45 am EST (0145 GMT Friday). After turning east from Florida's coast, the Falcon 9 exceeded the speed of sound in less than a minute and closed its first-step engines a little over two and a half minutes in the mission. The booster scene jettisoned seconds later to start a guided supersonic run back into the atmosphere, reigniting a subset of its engines to steer towards a landing platform in the Atlantic. The booster extended a landing gear and used one of its engines to slow down the touchdown on the drone ship, the name "Of course I Still Love You." Landing on target ended the third trip to space and back to Falcon 9 booster, following a couple of missions launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California last year.…

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket extends into a starry sky Thursday night. Credit: SpaceX

An Israeli-built lunar lander aiming to become the first privately funded mission reaches another planetary body shaved away from Cape Canaveral on Thursday evening aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which runs piggyback with an Indonesian communications spacecraft and an experimental US Air Force Space Surveillance Microsatellite.

The Falcon 9 rocket took off from Florida’s 1.7 million pound of shore, moving east on a runway across the Atlantic at a thunderous departure marking this year’s first launch from Cape Canaveral.

Nine Merlin 1D main engines ignited during the last three seconds of Thursday night’s countdown, and hold-down restrictions released the 229 foot (70 meter) launch at 8:45 am EST (0145 GMT Friday). After turning east from Florida’s coast, the Falcon 9 exceeded the speed of sound in less than a minute and closed its first-step engines a little over two and a half minutes in the mission.

The booster scene jettisoned seconds later to start a guided supersonic run back into the atmosphere, reigniting a subset of its engines to steer towards a landing platform in the Atlantic. The booster extended a landing gear and used one of its engines to slow down the touchdown on the drone ship, the name “Of course I Still Love You.”

Landing on target ended the third trip to space and back to Falcon 9 booster, following a couple of missions launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California last year. It was the 34th successful landing of a Falcon booster overall.

Falcon 9’s upper stage engine drives the mission’s three payloads in an oval-shaped orbit with two separate fires within half an hour liftoff. The rocket was designed to reach an orbit that reached over 37,000 miles (60,000 kilometers) across the planet at the highest point and SpaceX’s launch team reported that Falcon 9 achieved an orbital deposit on the target.

The Israeli lunar lander, named Beresheet, was the first of the three spacecraft on the mission to separate in orbit about 33 minutes after the liftoff. The Indonesian Nusantara Satu communications satellite, the mission’s heaviest payload, was used 44 minutes in flight and a forward-looking camera on the Falcon 9 rocket level showed that the telecommunications vessel was lowered into space as the vehicles rose above the Indian Ocean.

Successful launch Thursday evening cleared the way for SpaceX’s first Crew Dragon capsule to blast from the Kennedy Space Center as soon as March 2. Crew Dragon spacecraft, developed under contract to NASA, is set for an unilateral test flight to the International Space Station before a mission with astronauts aboard later this year.

A flight reading review for the Crew Dragon demonstration aircraft is scheduled on Friday when NASA and SpaceX executives will investigate the mission’s aircraft and discuss any unresolved technical issues before deciding to continue launching a March 2 liftoff launch preparation.

Israel’s Beresheet mission begins seven weeks journey to the moon

Within minutes of being separated from the Falcon 9 rocket, the Beresheet Moon probe opened its four landing legs and radio controlled ground controls in Israel with status report.

Moon-bound Lander will fire his main engine several times over the next few weeks, beginning as soon as Friday, raising his height with a series of ever-growing loops around the earth, and maneuvering a maneuver to rotate in the moon’s orbit on the 4th. April. The lunar Mare Serenitatis region is scheduled for April 11th.

Granted by philanthropists and donors, the mission was able to make history and become the first privately funded spacecraft to reach the moon.

A nonprofit group called SpaceIL mirrored

Credit: SpaceIL

“This will be the first private interplanetary mission that will go to the moon,” said Yonat a Winetraub, a founder of SpaceIL, who had his origin in a brainstorming meeting in a Tel Aviv bar. “This is a great milestone. This will be the first time it will not be a superpower that will go to the moon. This is a big step for Israel.

” Until today, three superpowers have been lightened landed on the moon – the US, the Soviet Union and recently China, “Winetraub said in a press conference Wednesday night in Orlando.” And (we) thought it was time for a change. We want to get some Israel all the way to the moon. This is the purpose of SpaceIL. “

Beresheet, which means” genesis “or” in the beginning “in Hebrew, is covered in gold isolation. Almost three-quarters of the spacecraft launch mass is 1.290 pounds (585 kg) of hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide propellants contained in tanks inside the body of the farmer.

The fuel will feed a 100-pound main engine adapted from communications satellite buses, along with eight control beams to keep Beresheet landers really pointed.

“Israel is a very small country, as small as New Jersey, and we shoot for the moon” , says Yigal Harel, head of SpaceIL’s spacecraft development team. “It is the first time a small country has the goal of reaching the moon and landing safely. We are the first non-governmental mission to the moon, and we are the first ever moon mission to use a commercial launch, which is very unique. “

Originally Designed as a Competitor of the Google Lunar X Prize, SpaceIL Lunar Lander was manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, an Israeli Defense Contractor, and delivered to Cape Canaveral in January for the Rideshare launch on the Falcon 9 rocket.

Google The Lunar X Prize, which promised a multimillion-dollar cash payout to the first team that puts a privately funded spacecraft on the moon, ended last year without a winner.

Morris Kahn, an Israeli billionaire, put $ 40 million in his fortune against the mission and acting as SpaceIL’s president, other donors include Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, a casino and resort magnate living in Las Vegas, and Sylvan Adams, a Canadian-Israeli businessman.

The financial slopes decided to accommodate SpaceIL after Google Lunar X-Prize ended [19659026] SpaceIL founder Kfir Damari, Yonatan Winetraub and Yariv Bash insert a time capsule on Beresheet The spacecraft contains three discs with digital files that will remain on the moon with the spacecraft. The records contain details of the spacecraft and the crew that built it, as well as national and cultural symbols, such as the Israeli flag, the Israeli genocide and the Bible. Credit: SpaceIL

“We have a vision to show Israel’s best qualities for the whole world,” said Adams Wednesday. “Tiny Israel, a little, little Israel, is about to become the fourth nation to land on the moon. And this is a remarkable thing, because we continue to demonstrate our ability to go far, far above our weight and to show off our competence, our innovation and our creativity when it comes to addressing any difficult problem that may possibly be. “[19659003]” We have been on it for six, seven or eight years, the key was, and for about four years at full speed “, says Opher Doron, head of the IAI Space Department. “That was what it took to develop the spacecraft. So it’s a new business model, and it’s a whole new way to get to the moon.”

Due to the limited budget of the project – a fraction of the cost of state-funded lunar landmarks – the Israeli team adapt to the technology for other purposes of the moon mission. For example, the main propeller of the lander is an off-the-shelf engine commonly used to adjust the bands of large communication satellites.

The engine cannot be soiled that it will be fired in short blasts – as needed – to check the landing rate of the lander before it is shut off about 5 meters above the moon, so that the probe falls to the surface.

“It’s very exciting and pretty risky,” said Doron in an interview with Spaceflight Now. “There is no guarantee of success. It is never in space, but it is even less so in this case. But we have done a lot of testing, a lot of technology, and now we have to do a lot to pray.

” live in space for a month and a half without layoffs “Doron said.” It’s never trivial when we have so many new systems on board. But the most risky part is the moon’s catch, and the most risky part is the landing itself. We will do more than a week in the moon track. We will raise our apogee until we reach the moon’s distance, and we need time so that when the moon passes our plane, then we will get there. We must time our pioneering maneuvers so that when the moon is in that place we will also be there. “

The Beresheet mission will be deployed in an elliptical orbit around the Earth by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, then use its own engine to raise its altitude over several weeks before reaching Monday, April 4. The landing is scheduled for it. April 11. Credit: SpaceIL

“What we are trying to do here takes $ 100 million and puts a few pounds on the moon, but we do it at some level of reliability, which we currently do not know,” Harel said. is certainly not 100 percent. This mission is very ambitious. “

” I think it is an extraordinary success just where we are right now, “said Doron.” We have constructed and built and sent a spacecraft ready to start on the road to the moon. As someone from NASA told us, even if we didn’t, we’ll be the first to find out what went wrong and try to fix it. “

If the touchdown succeeded, Beresheet will collect data on the magnetic field at the landing site. NASA also provided a laser reflector on the spacecraft, which scientists will use to determine the exact distance to the moon. The US space agency also provides communication and tracking support to The mission.

The German space organization DLR also helped the SpaceIL team with drip testing to simulate the conditions that the spacecraft will encounter at the time of landing.

But Doron said that the Beresheet spacecraft is largely grown-up, with Israeli designers, builders and operators.

“When you zoom out a little bit and you remember what the Google Lunar X prize – resting in peace – wanted to achieve, we’ve actually achieved that,” says Doron. “We can actually do what they wanted to show was possible, a non-governmental mission to come to the moon.”

The Israeli lander is designed to work at least two days on the moon, enough time to radiate back basic scientific data and a series of panoramic images, plus a selfie. The laser reflector is a passive payload and will be useful long after the spacecraft stops working.

Beresheet also aims to deliver a time capsule to the moon with the Israeli flag and digital copies of the Israeli national anthem, the Bible, and other national and cultural artifacts.

“People say in the 60s, Russia and the United States landed on the moon, so what’s the big deal now?” Harel said. “The development tool changed a lot, but nature’s physics is still very hard and very very complex, and taking something so small and so delicate that it puts on the moon is a very complex and ambitious assignment. So we only have redundancy on things we decided on must have it, but most systems have no redundancy.

“We need to be creative when we encounter problems – and it will certainly come up with problems because this is the space arena – we will need to send commands to the spacecraft program to do things differently. “

Artist’s concept of Beresheet moonlight on the moon’s surface. Credit: SpaceIL

IAI and OHB, a German airline, signed an agreement in January that could build on the Beresheet mission by building future commercial landlords to conduct scientific Instruments and other payloads to the lunar surface of the European Space Agency. [19659003] According to Doron, IAI is also in discussions with US companies to use Israeli technology developed for the Beresheet project on commercial lunar landers for NASA’s commercial monthly load program. NASA selected nine companies last

SpaceIL and IAI were not among the winners, but Israeli engineers could work with US companies to meet NASA’s requirements.

“There may be opportunities in the US, “said Doron.” There is the CLPS program in the United States, and we talk to various American companies about how we can join it. “

Indonesian telecom satellite, US Air Force experiment on the way to geosynchronous orbit

The Indonesian Nusantara Satu communications satellite, built by SSL in Palo Alto, California, was the primary passenger on the Falcon 9 launch. An American Air Force satellite, called S5, will also run piggyback on an adapter attached to the top of Nusantara Satu.

The entire spacecraft weighed about £ 10,700 (4,850 kilos), according to SSL, which sold some capacity it bought on the Falcon 9 rocket to Spaceflight, a company offering rideshare launch capabilities to small satellites that do not require full capacity of one. great rocket.

Spaceflight booked agreements with SpaceIL and the US Air Force to land Beresheet and the S5 space monitoring satellite rides into space. The launch marks the first rideshare to a geostationary type of orbit for Spaceflight, which so far has launched smallsats to the low-Earth orbits a few hundred miles above the planet.

While the Beresheet is separated from the multitasking Falcon 9 shortly after its launch, the Air Force S5 will continue to be attached to the Nusantara Satu spacecraft until it reaches an orbit near geostationary altitude more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) across the equator, where S5 comes to distribute to begin their mission.

Nusantara Satu will then continue to his last orbital position in geostationary orbit to launch a 15-year telecommunications mission across Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

Nusantara Satu spacecraft, topped with Beresheet Moon Lander and US Air Force S5 Space Situational awareness satellite, is depicted before encapsulation within the Falcon 9 rocket payload at Cape Canaveral. Credit: SSL

The satellite, with a fuel of more than 9,000 kg, is owned by PT Pasifik Satelit Nusantara, or PSN, an Indonesian telecom company. Formerly known as PSN 6, the satellite carries C-band and Ku-band transponders, along with a high throughput for broadband services.

“The Nusantara Satu Satellite is a very important infrastructure for Indonesia,” said Adi Rahman Adiwoso, CEO of PSN. “As the first Indonesian high-transport satellite, it is another monumental step for the PSN to realize its dream and continue its commitment to providing broadband services across the vast archipelago of Indonesia.”

A mixture of conventional liquid fuel guns and an electric propulsion system will push Nusantara Satu spacecraft towards its final perch in geostationary orbit at 146 degrees east longitude.

S5 is described as a space-mounting awareness mission in a 2017 press release from Blue Canyon Technologies, a smallsat manufacturer in Colorado.

According to Blue Canyon Technologies, the spacecraft weighs about 132 kilos (60 kilos) and carries a payload provided by Applied Defense Systems.

The US military has launched several missions in recent years with optical sensors to scan geostationary orbits, where terrestrial radar tracing satellites and low-Earth space debris have difficulty detecting objects.

One such mission was SensorSat, which was launched from Cape Canaveral in August 2017 to look out for geostationary orbits from a low ball that hugged the equator. The Air Force has also launched four space monitoring satellites to touch geostationary orbit, with the possibility of approaching and inspecting objects there.

S5 will demonstrate the ability of a small satellite to find objects in geostationary orbit, so that the military can update its database, which is invoked by commercial and international space organizations.

“The purpose of the S5 mission is to measure the possibility and affordability of developing low cost constellations for routine and frequent updates of the GEO (geostationary) space catalog,” Blue Canyon Technologies said in the 2017 statement.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .

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