back to article Lunar lander's brief jaunt will place Israel as fourth country to make soft landing on Moon

SpaceX has sent the first privately funded lunar lander on its way to the Moon following an evening launch from Canaveral Air Force station. The Falcon 9 was on its third flight having launched the Iridium-7 mission in July 2018 and the SAOCOM 1A mission the following October. The company pulled off the crowd-pleasing stunt …

  1. Rudolph Hucker the Third

    "The spacecraft will use electric propulsion to get into orbit and has traditional, chemical thrusters for stationkeeping"

    Because in space no-one can here you screaming "where's the charging point?"

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      No, because it's an old design, kicking around since it was built in 2014

      https://spacenews.com/falcon-9-launch-the-final-leg-of-indonesian-satellites-roundabout-journey/

    2. Francis Boyle

      "where's the charging point?"

      It's hard to miss. It has an extremely bright indicator light.

  2. jmch Silver badge
    Headmaster

    4th country?

    "A success will make Israel the fourth country to have achieved a soft landing on the Moon's surface."

    Bit of a quibble here, but since it's a privately funded lander launched by a private company, not the Israeli government, the above statement doesn't quite ring right. What is much more interesting (and a true genuine first) is being the first private-enterprise moon landing, which is a far greater achievement considering that the other 3 previous landers were the world's 3 best-resourced government space agencies .

    1. GX5000
      Big Brother

      Re: 4th country?

      I was just about to say the same thing but wary of the obvious push back....

      Remember, Reality is what they tell you...why?...Because they say so.

      ( hxxps://muppet.fandom.com/wiki/WESAYSO)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 4th country?

      Bit of a quibble here

      I wouldn't worry. Enjoy yourself by imagining the outrage that this will cause in the Labour party.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Stratman

    Question

    Why will it take about six weeks for Beresheet to reach the Moon, compared with Apollo's three days? What factors come into play?

    1. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Question

      No need for speed since there's no people to feed? When nobody's on board there's no need to go fast. The slower arrival time means a lot less fuel is needed to get it there, a lot less fuel is needed to slow it down, so it costs a lot less to launch. It costs about 2700USD per kg to launch a craft. Apollo, on the other hand, had to accellerate a long time, then decellerate a long time to get there as fast as it did, and that took a lot of fuel and it had to do that because it had people on board, as well as the stuff needed to keep people alive. Not a lot of room for supplies ro spend 6 weeks just getting there.

    2. richdin

      Re: Question

      Using the earth as a slingshot instead of carrying a lot of fuel...

      You can see a simulation (and track live): http://live.spaceil.com/

      Be'eresheet = Genesis (first book of the bible)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ion drive

    Ion drives may be slow but they get there with extreme reliability. Deep Space 1 was very effective.

    The big snag is that pesky xenon tank, which is quite expensive though a lot safer than hydrazine.

    Random: Israel may be testing the EmDrive on here as well at least on a small scale.

    Of course not as a main drive but to see if it does anything with all the other thrusters turned off,

    which would be incredibly valuable data.

    I did come up with something a while back that uses a different technology but alas NASA didn't

    return my messages, based on a method of distorting space-time slightly.

    Very similar to Alcubierre's ideas but using a predicted -2.993% variance in the gravitational field from

    positrons in a Rydberg state with conventional matter eg proton + &positron generated using UV and

    yellow 395 + 593nm lasers and the Rydberg molecule effective diameter being in the hundreds of um

    range so a very small quantity generates a measurable effect.

    Should work though not fuelless as such due to the anti-matter being consumable but it could feasibly

    be build using any long lived isotope with a positron in its decay channel.

    Also interesting: you could feasibly use 22Na as a fuel

    "Sodium-22 is being investigated as an efficient generator of “cold positrons” (antimatter) to produce muons for catalyzing fusion of deuterium. " (Wikipedia)

    1. Fizzle
      Trollface

      Re: Ion drive

      Troll

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bereshit

    That's how I was taught to transliterate it anyway, I guess nowadays we have to guard against people with juvenile senses of humour.

    Bereshit doesn't just mean "In the beginning", it's the first word of Torah (Bereshit ba'ra elohim, In the beginning Elohim created...).

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warp drive

    For the record, I did upload some preliminary schematics a while back.

    NASA has (I hope!) a copy of the key via snail mail so if someone finds a mysterious file of exactly 100.2GB on

    the torrents then they can access it.

    Should be called "802701.TC" but I only encrypted it to make it easier for priority purposes and guarantee file integrity.

    Reason for large file size is that it contains 60+ pages of math proofs and .STL files for 3D printing.

    Also in there are details of related experimental research I actually carried out in my home laboratory, original data files,

    all the handwritten lab notes etc.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My Turn My turn

    So for enough money NASA and Space-X can also plonk your family flag (KeK) on the moon for almost no effort.

    No seriously this is just pathetic.

    1. Spherical Cow Silver badge

      Re: My Turn My turn

      Yes for enough money you too can participate in space stuff. That's not pathetic, it's awesome!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why all the downvotes?

    Also worth mentioning: Advanced LIGO is online now.

    It might actually be able to detect alien warp drives assuming they have some,assuming that it works

    in the same way as the one I dids the preliminary calculations for.

    It would look a bit like a door opening and closing, but the optical flash *might* show up if on axis.

    We might even detect it >1000LY away if the gravitational lensing happens to focus it in our direction.

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