Ultra-cool video about Thursday’s Moon landing!

As you know, Beresheet is the Hebrew word for “In the beginning”.

It also is the name of Israel’s unmanned moon-landing mission!

The landing is scheduled for Thursday.

Here is an ultra-cool video about how they are doing it without a massive engine like the Saturn-V, etc.

I cannot even begin to imagine the math that went into this plan.

Beresheet Twitter feed:    https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beresheet?src=hash

How to watch!  HERE


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. rcg says:

    So it swings around until it gains enough momentum. Like David’s Sling.

  2. Semper Gumby says:

    rcg: Good one.

    Early congratulations to Israel.

    “I cannot even begin to imagine the math that went into this plan.”

    Faddah, I’d bet my last bagel that the Mathematicks they used was not the 2+2=5 type.

    [Simply outstanding.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. ceich says:

    No need for a Saturn V rocket because the payload is not 3 men and all their life support systems (with all the safety factors that allowed Apollo 13 to survive). Very impressive anyway!

  4. ceich says: Very impressive anyway!

    “Very impressive anyway!” ???!!???

  5. Henry Edwards says:

    From a mathematical viewpoint, this Israeli project can be considered much more impressive than the Saturn V moonshots of the 1960s/70s. As the video portrays so vividly, the current moonshot uses the energy of the gravitational fields of the Earth and Moon–rather than the power of massive booster rockets–to slingshot its payload through several intermediate orbital stages from the Earth to the Moon. Imagining the actual mathematics–from the area of differential equations (rather than papal arithmetic)–involved in planning this project is what makes it so exciting (to me, at least, as a differential equations textbook author).

  6. RichR says:

    I don’t understand why all the multiple orbits are necessary. It’s not like the spaceship is gaining momentum on the return portion of the orbit. Why not just have one long burn at the beginning?

  7. Sonshine135 says:

    This is called a Hohman Transfer, named for the scientist that invented it in the 1920’s. It is extremely fuel efficient. At the periapsis (low point) of the orbit), firing the rocket engine prograde (in the direction the spacecraft is traveling), will cause the orbit to expand greatly, with very little thrust. Once, the spacecraft is inside the gravity influence of the other body (the moon, in this case), the spacecraft fires its engines retrograde (opposite the direction of travel) at the periapsis, and shrinks the orbit to stay within the gravity influence of the moon. This also requires very little fuel.

    And yes, this can be done with manned spacecraft, but the reason it wasn’t in Apollo was two fold- speed to the moon, and resource limits. Now that we have a space station, we could in theory, launch the necessary mission from there in a smaller spacecraft. That is why there is a lot of talk about using a lunar base to launch a Mars mission. Much less costly in resources and in rocket power due to the lower gravitational influence.

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