Animated GIF showing spacecraft impact crater appearing on the surface of the Moon.
Source:  NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University
Published: May 15, 2019
Historical Date: April 22, 2019

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spotted the final resting place of Israel's Beresheet Moon lander. Beresheet was Israel's first lunar mission and the first attempt by a private company to land on the Moon.

Enhanced Beresheet Impact Site
An enhanced version of the impact images more clearly reveals subtle changes on the lunar surface. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

The spacecraft achieved lunar orbit, but was lost after a hard landing during the April 11, 2019 landing attempt. SpaceIL, a non-profit organization, attempted to land its spacecraft in a region of the Moon called Sea of Serenity, or Mare Serenitatis in Latin.

As soon as its orbit placed NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) over the landing site on April 22, 2019, LRO captured a six-image sequence of the area that could be compared to previous images. It appears the spacecraft impacted from the north on the rim of a small crater (a few meters across), leaving a dark, elongated (to the south) "smudge" on Mare Serenitatis.

Beresheet means ​"In the Beginning" in Hebrew.


You Might Also Like