SpaceIL’s recent decision not to mount a second lunar lander mission is only the latest sign of delays and retrenchment among international ventures planning missions to the moon.
As SpaceIL continues its investigation into its failed lunar landing attempt April 11, its backers as well as others in the space community remain optimistic about efforts to privately develop such spacecraft despite technical challenges.
A year after a $20 million prize purse expired, a team in the former Google Lunar X Prize competition could still pick up a smaller consolation prize if it lands on the moon next month.
SpaceIL’s lunar lander performed a maneuver March 19 that puts the privately developed lander on course to enter orbit around the moon next month.
A privately-funded Israeli lunar lander performed a maneuver Feb. 28 to raise its orbit after a computer problem postponed an earlier maneuver.
As an Israeli-built lunar lander makes its first post-launch maneuvers, a Japanese company announced new partnerships in its plans to mount missions to the moon.