Reply to post: Re: DOOM - The Moon mission

Canada has lunar dreams as Germany worries about what lies beneath

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: DOOM - The Moon mission

"Let me guess, if it makes it to the moon they will take credit for the mission (although they are just hitching a ride to a landing, nothing extraordinary in that)."

Right - like the Apollo spacecraft system (CM, SM, LM) wasn't extraordinary because it just hitched a ride on a Saturn V. Okay, that job was some orders of magnitude harder, but still: Beresheet is a combined spacecraft and lunar lander: of course it's got to hitch a ride on something to get into orbit. Doesn't mean it's not impressive just because its developers didn't also develop a launcher.

The Beresheet spacecraft is now operating in Earth orbit using its own rocket engine to travel to lunar orbit, and then - with luck - will use the same engine to perform a landing. I know I couldn't design anything to do that.

Even if the spacecraft just achieves lunar orbit and goes splat on landing, I'd say it'd still be an extraordinary achievement taking everything into account. It takes a lot of engineering to turn an idea like "Let's build a craft to travel from LEO to land on the moon" into actual hardware which works, especially if you've got no prior experience and a very tight budget as in this case.

Yes I know they're using a modified existing engine design (originally developed by Royal Ordnance and now made by Nammo at the former Rocket Propulsion Establishment in Westcott) and I expect lots of other more or less off-the-shelf parts - it's still a cleverly done bit of kit worthy of a lot of respect even at this stage of the mission.

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