Beresheet takes a selfie minutes before touching down on the moon .
(photo credit: SCREENSHOT SPACEIL YOUTUBE)
Was the SpaceIL Beresheet Moon mission a success? Yes. On a scale of 1-10, we would give it an eight.
The purpose of this mission was to have a successful launch and reach the Moon. Beresheet successfully reached and held an Earth orbit. Beresheet successfully entered and held a lunar orbit. Beresheet was on target as it made a hard landing. It reached the Moon after traveling over 3.4 million miles in its orbits around the Earth and another one million around the Moon.
Beresheet reached its target. It was disappointing that the main engine and communications cut out on descent, but we will fix these and other bugs with Beresheet 2.0.
Have no doubt about Israel’s space industry. Israel has produced some of the world’s finest, most sophisticated satellites – all created by the government with an adequate budget – for use in both weather forecasting and defense, among other endeavors.
The greatest success illustrated by Beresheet is the respected Israeli asset of making a dream come true, having vision and not letting go of it.
On a shoestring budget, we produced a spacecraft that reached the Moon. Granted, not in one piece, but perhaps hundreds of which one day we can look back and hold one of those pieces, smile and say with pride, “This is where our space journey started.”
I was in uniform at the IDF Spokesperson’s Office when Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon perished. It was truly a tragic day. Nothing can equate with the loss of life. But this was different. Beresheet was a scientific experiment, a romantic dream that went mostly according to plan, an experiment for which we will learn and grow as we create Beresheet 2.0.
There was no loss of life. There was real achievement, sweat, limited success, much education, and lots of inspiration designed for every Jewish child to look up and say: “Yes I can, never give up.”
In the IDF we have one word to describe today’s Beresheet mission. That word is kadima, to move forward with all that we have learned and to prepare ourselves for the next mission.
As Israelis, we do not fail. We may hit bumps, but we get right back up and move forward – with a Beresheet smile. And we say kadima!