Directly after witnessing the crash of the Beresheet spacecraft on the lunar surface on Thursday, SpaceIL Chairman Morris Kahn began making plans for the next effort to reach the moon. On Saturday evening, he announced the establishment of Beresheet 2 lunar mission. Kahn intends to lead the second Israeli spacecraft to achieve a lunar landing.
“In light of the wonderful messages of support and encouragement and excitement I received from all over the world, I decided that we’re going to establish Beresheet 2,” Khan said.
“We’re going to put a new spacecraft on the moon and we’re going to complete the mission. Tomorrow [Sunday] morning – first thing- we have a task force – we’re going to sit down and plan the project and begin the work.”
“This is part of my message to the younger generation: Even if you do not succeed, you get up again and try,” Kahn said to the media. Kahn said he plans to form a new group of donors to support Beresheet 2, has appointed a new Beresheet 2 team and will lead the project, which will begin immediately. “We started something and we need to finish it. We’ll put our flag on the moon.”
“We’ll get the funds from donors and the public,” he said. “Everybody wants to take part. I got an offer from someone rich in the US who offered to pay a lot of money but I think the funds should come from the public. This should be a people’s project.”
SpaceIL co-founder Yariv Bash said it would take about two or three years to get another prototype ready for a moon landing.
After eight years and $95 million, Beresheet launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on February 22. The spacecraft was two meters (6.6 feet) diameter and 1.5 meters high and weighed 585 kilos when it began its journey but most of that was the fuel that propelled it into space. It was the first non-government moon-shot. The lander was intended to measure the Moon’s local magnetic field to help understand how it formed. It also carried a digital time capsule containing over 50 million pages of data, including a copy of the Bible, the blue-and-white flag, a copy of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, a full copy of Wikipedia, a recording of Israel’s national anthem (Hatikva) children’s drawings and memories of a Holocaust survivor.
SpaceIL was the only Israeli competitor in the canceled international competition, the Google Lunar XPRIZE. To win the first prize of $20 million, competitors were supposed to make a soft landing (without crashing) on the moon; travel 500 meters on, above or below the surface of the moon; and send high definition video and pictures back to Earth. In the end, no prize was awarded, but SpaceIL said it is determined to continue its mission and launch the spacecraft, regardless of the international competition.
Had Beresheet landed successfully, it would have made Israel only the fourth country to land on the moon. When it orbited the moon, it made Israel only the seventh country to do so.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.