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Destination moon: soon leave the first private lunar module earth

Every young engineering dream in the last 50 years has been to send up their own future. It is fascinating that some in the end have succeeded, " says Olle Norberg, vice-president for space at Luleå university of technology and former director general of the space agency.

He designed beresheet hotel, a center built by the israeli organization Space IL. In the week beresheet hotel lift off into space with a rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. If everything goes the way becomes Israel the fifth country in the world to land on the moon after the Soviet union, the USA, India and China, and the beresheet hotel will go down in history as the world's first privatbyggda center.

Link to the graphics

to participate in the competition for The Google Lunar Xprize, a prize of 20 million dollars, which was established in 2007 to stimulate private companies and organisations to invest in space travel. The price would go to the privately funded group which was first to land a craft on the moon, travel 500 meters from the landing site and send high definition videos and images to earth.

33 teams from around the world registered for the competition. Five of them, including the Space IL, went to the final. But in the beginning of last year was called off the contest without a winner. Despite the continued Space IL on the way to the moon.

Of the 33 act, notified us finally to the competition, and now we are the first to shoot up our craft. We are very excited, " says Era Shmidt, deputy director at Space IL.

– We will not win 20 million dollars, but the money would still have gone to education. Space IL is a non-profit organization, and the purpose is mainly to promote scientific and technological education in Israel, by inspiring children and young people, that the Apollo effect, " says Daniela Geron, systems engineer at Space IL.

the Era Shmidt agree with.

– To inspire children is the goal of Space IL's co-founder. The spacecraft is just a tool to get there, " he says.

the lander beresheet hotel in the clean room. Photo: Alon Ron

a price driver in the development of technology.

" It was a price who received the Charles Lindberg fly over the Atlantic ocean. And it is definitely not the money that is important - such projects cost significantly more than that. It is the very challenge that is crucial, that someone puts up a målsnöre. I hope we get to see more of the competitions and challenges in the future, " says Olle Norberg.

Daniela Geron believe that there are several reasons for Space IL, managed to the best of the participants in the competition.

– We have many very talented employees, but it has of course also the other teams. But this was a national project to take Israel to the moon, and it was therefore many researchers are interested and involved. And the most important is the support from the donors, " she says.

– We have done this on a relatively small budget. We are not hundreds, but tens of thousands of people. Each one of us makes many, many different things, " says Era Shmidt.

in Order to keep down the fuel costs are all components on the lunar module as light and cheap as possible.

– Every gram has been calculated, " says Era Shmidt.

It was also too expensive to let the beresheet hotel go straight the way to the moon. Instead, get the probe to go several times, first around the earth and around the moon. In the middle of april, the beresheet hotel to the end of the land.

– To figure out the track was one of the big challenges, " says Daniela Geron.

was to find ways to keep in contact with the lander during the journey.

" We need to have a network on earth to be able to manage communication, and so the large antennas required is not so common. But in the end we found the Swedish SSC, which was just what we needed, " says Daniela Geron.

the Company, SSC, the Swedish Space Corporation, satellite earth stations throughout the world and long experience of the space. But this is the first time they have had the primary responsibility for communication with a spacecraft.

" For us it is very special to be with in a månuppdrag. A long time, it was not so popular to explore the moon, " says Ann-Helen Stålnacke on the SSC.

She is the architect behind the solution to keep in touch with the beresheet hotel during the two-months long journey.

" It's fun to put Sweden on the rymdkartan. We will be a bit like the Zlatan, if one may say so, " she says.

50 years ago, had the astronauts with the Swedish Hasselbladskameror. Now another Swedish instruments on the moon, on board the chinese Chang'e 4, as in the beginning of January this year became the first probe that mjuklandade on the moon's back side.

"Our instrument, studying how the solar wind affects the lunar surface," says Martin Wieser at the Swedish Institute of space physics in Kiruna.

the solar wind is a stream of charged particles, and because the moon lacks a protective atmosphere reaches right up to the moon's surface, which is covered by the måndamm, or regolit.

– It is a very rare material which has no direct counterpart on earth. It is like fine sand, with incredibly sharp grains, as no weather or water, have sanded them down, " says Martin Wieser.

If we are to put people on the moon again, and even build bases there, it is important to understand more about regoliten.

the Dust gets in everywhere. If you look at old pictures you can see that the astronauts were completely covered by dust. It is one of the biggest difficulties in all activity on the moon, " says Martin Wieser.

But måndammet can also be put to use.

– Regoliten contains water and oxygen which we could extract and make rocket fuel. It can also be used in 3D printers to print tools, and buildings, and the like. Then you do not take materials from the earth, " says Linda Lyckman, head of business and technological innovation in the SSC.

suddenly become so interesting to explore again?

" the Moon is our natural first destination. In a way, it is a shame that we had the space race in the 60's. When these were mobilised inhuman energy to so quickly take people there. We actually should not have passed it until maybe first now, " says Olle Norberg.

After Apolloprogrammets end came almost nothing on the moon for a long time. But now it is time again.

– eventually, we can take us to Mars. But then we need to first master the moon, " says Olle Norberg.

Linda Lyckman agree with.

" the Moon will be a first step that we should learn to establish bases on other planets. Then can the moon be a pit stop for fuel and materials on the way to March, " she says.

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