Israeli Lunar Lander Misses Maneuver Due to Computer Glitch

Opher Doron, general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries' space division, speaks beside the SpaceIL lunar module, in a special "clean room" where the space craft is being developed, during a press tour of their facility near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries …
AP/Ilan Ben Zion

The Times of Israel reports: A hitch in computer systems Monday evening caused an Israeli lunar spacecraft to miss a scheduled adjustment in its trajectory en route to the moon, engineers reported on Tuesday.

The maneuver by the Beresheet craft was postponed after the space vehicle’s on-board computer executed an independent restart. As a result, the craft automatically canceled an engine burn scheduled to keep it on track for an April lunar landing.

“At the moment we are not very worried. Of course it isn’t nice, but we are still optimistic,” said SpaceIL CEO Dr. Ido Anteby. Engineers on Tuesday were still examining the data to figure out what happened. Opher Doron, the general manager of the Space Division at Israel Aerospace Industries, said that the engineers had not encountered a similar problem during simulations.

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