Israel to the Moon – the very beginning (2013, Ha’aretz)

Israeli Space Engineers Hope to Take Another Giant Leap for Mankind
Responding to a Google challenge to grab HD footage from the moon’s surface, a team of Israeli volunteers aims for a 2015 launch.

Aliyana Traison
Mar 15, 2013 12:29 PM

Israel may not have Apollo, but its space industry is hoping to take a giant leap for mankind in 2015 to become the third country in history to land on the moon, this time in a tiny unmanned spacecraft equipped with high definition technology capable of broadcasting images back to Earth.

The initiative is the brainchild of SpaceIL, a non-profit organization founded by three young Israeli engineers who embarked on Google’s international Lunar X project about two years ago. Google has promised $20 million to the first team that successfully lands on the moon, travels at least 500 meters on the lunar surface, and brings back HD video, images and data. As a further incentive for the competing teams, the prize will drop to $15 million if a government funded project beats them to it – a goal which China hopes to achieve this year.

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TOI – SpaceIL chairman and co-founder to light Independence Day torch (04/15/19)

SpaceIL chairman and co-founder to light Independence Day torch
Morris Kahn and Kfir Damari will receive honor during ceremony on May 8 for promoting tech education and encouraging innovation

SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn and one of the company’s co-founders, Kfir Damari, will light a torch at Israel’s 71st Independence Day ceremony on May 8, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev announced Monday.

“SpaceIL has been working for eight years to promote scientific and technological education in Israel and to encourage Israeli innovation,” the committee responsible for choosing the honorees noted in a statement.

This year’s Independence Day theme is “The Israeli Spirit.”

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TOI – Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft crashes into the moon during landing attempt (04/11/19)

Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft crashes into the moon during landing attempt.
Vehicle built on shoestring budget fails during descent, after weeks of careful maneuvering in space; Netanyahu: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try again’
By MELANIE LIDMAN
11 April 2019, 11:03 pm

The Beresheet spacecraft crashed into the moon’s surface during its attempt to land on Earth’s satellite on Thursday evening, dashing the hopes of hundreds of engineers who had worked on the project for years.

Israel could still claim the title of seventh country to make lunar orbit, and the seventh country to reach the lunar surface, though unfortunately not in one piece.

“As far as we can see, we were very close to the moon,” operation control director Alex Friedman said to engineers in the SpaceIL control room in Yehud, east of Tel Aviv, after communication with the spacecraft went down. “We are on the moon, but not in the way that we wanted to.”

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TOI – Engineers detail glitches that caused Beresheet to slam into moon (04/14/2019)

Engineers detail glitches that caused Beresheet to slam into moon
Technical problems began miles above landing spot when spacecraft lost main engine; engineers restarted it, but too late to prevent the craft smashing into lunar surface at 310 mph
By MELANIE LIDMAN
12 April 2019, 5:56 pm

Engineers on Friday released preliminary data about what they believe went wrong in the last moments of Beresheet’s flight, a day after the Israeli spacecraft crash-landed on the moon.

Engineers believe a technical glitch — likely in the component that measures the spacecraft’s altitude in relation to the surface — triggered a chain reaction of events that caused the main engine of the spacecraft to stop.

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TOI – Beresheet may have crashed, but for a moment we raised our eyes to the heavens (04/14/19)

Beresheet may have crashed, but for a moment we raised our eyes to the heavens.
While the Israeli spacecraft didn’t land on the moon, it did remind us to look beyond the borders of our own small worlds and let our imaginations soar.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
12 April 2019, 4:49 pm

Recently, someone in my neighborhood in Tel Aviv has been spray-painting the question, “Have you looked at the sky today?” on walls of buildings and at the dog park and local train station. Have you looked at the sky today? It’s a reminder to take our eyes off the phone in our hands, and look up, for a moment, to see what’s going on around us.

Over the past two months, I found myself lifting my eyes to the sky more and more, as I followed the trajectory of Beresheet’s elliptical path to the moon.

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A Responsum Regarding Space Travel (masorti)

Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin
June, 2002
Modern Issues in Jewish Law, Religion & Science, Responsa by David Golinkin

On July 19, 2002, Col. Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, is scheduled to blast off in the space shuttle Columbia from Cape Canaveral, Florida. A few weeks ago, Rabbi David Golinkin was interviewed by “ABC Nightly News with Peter Jennings” for a halakhic reaction to that event. The interview has not yet been broadcast. In the meantime, Rabbi Golinkin has written a formal responsum, which we are reprinting here below.

Question from Daphna Venyige, ABC News Correspondent in Israel: Colonel Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, is scheduled to blast off on the “Columbia” in July. He is not particularly religious, but believes that as Israel’s first astronaut, he has a higher duty to consider. “I feel I am representing all Jews and all Israelis”, he said. How should he, and any future observant Jews, observe Kashrut, daily prayer, Shabbat, and festivals?

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TOI – SpaceIL chief: ‘Beresheet 2 starts Sunday; we’ll put our flag on the moon’

‘WE STARTED SOMETHING AND WE NEED TO FINISH IT’ SpaceIL chief: ‘Beresheet 2 starts Sunday; we’ll put our flag on the moon’. After crash on lunar surface, billionaire Morris Kahn announces new project on-air, says mission team will meet Sunday to begin work on successor to Israel’s first moon lander.

By TOI STAFF
13 April 2019, 9:12 pm

Following the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet’s failure to land safely on the moon this week, SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn on Saturday announced he was launching project Beresheet 2, effective immediately, adding: “We started something and we need to finish it. We’ll put our flag on the moon.”

The small spacecraft, the world’s first privately funded moon lander, crashed into the lunar surface Thursday night during an attempted landing, apparently due to a technical glitch that caused its main engine to stop mid-landing.

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Hebrew Vocab – The planets

While following the live stream of Beresheet’s landing, my thoughts were twofolds:

  1. Holy bleep I understand what they’re saying (as a oleh khadash, a new immigrant, it’s always an achievement)
  2. I don’t understand any of the technical words

I can’t be the only one, so here is a serie of article of vocabulary related to space. First part: the planets and other celestial bodies.

Sun : שֶׁמשׁ, חמָּה (shemesh, or khamah)
Moon: יָרֵחַ, לְבָנָה (yareakh, or levanah)

Planet: כּוֹכָב לכַּת (kokhav leket)
Mercury: כוכב חמה (kokhav khama)
Venus: נוֹגַה (nogah)
Earth: כדור הארץ (kadour haaretz)
Mars: מַאֲדִים (ma’adim)
Jupiter: צָדַק (tzadak)
Saturn: שַׁבְּתָאִי (shabtai)
Uranus: אוֹרוֹן (oron)
Neptun: רַהַב (rahav)

Pluto: פּלוּטוֹ (plouto)

Asteroid: אסטרואיד (asteroid)
 Asteroid belt: חגורת האסטרואידים (khougat asteroidim)
Comet: כּוֹכָב שָׁבִיט (kokhav shavit)
Constellation: קבוצת כוכבים (kvoutzat kokhavim)
Meteor: מֶטֶאוֹר (meteor)
Milky Way: שְׁבִיל הֶחָלָב (shvil hekhalav)
Shooting Star: כּוֹכָב נוֹפֵל (kokhav nofel)
Star: כּוֹכָב (kokhav)
 Star Wars: מלחמת הכוכבים (milkhamat hakokhavim)

Beresheet – The spotify playlist

The I center, dedicated to sharing educative ressources about Israel, created a playlist for the Beresheet mission, filled with Israeli songs relevant to the adventure. It’s pretty awesome, and it’s right here:

The original page is here (and did I mention it’s pretty awesome?).

JPost – Despite Crash, SpaceIL to receive $1 million moonshot award

DESPITE CRASH, SPACEIL TO RECEIVE $1 MILLION MOONSHOT AWARD
Founded in 1995, California-headquartered XPRIZE designs global competitions to incentivize the development of technological breakthroughs that accelerate humanity toward a better future.
BY EYTAN HALON APRIL 12, 2019 18:27

While SpaceIL’s attempt to land the Beresheet spacecraft on the Moon on Thursday evening ended in disappointment, the non-profit organization will receive a $1 million “Moonshot Award” from the XPRIZE Foundation for its achievements.

Founded in 1995, California-headquartered XPRIZE designs global competitions to incentivize the development of technological breakthroughs that accelerate humanity toward a better future.

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