Israel will aim for the moon again in 2024 with Beresheet 2 mission

The Beresheet spacecraft captured this "selfie" during its landing maneuver on April 11, 2019.
The Beresheet spacecraft captured this "selfie" during its landing maneuver on April 11, 2019. It was about 22 kilometers above the moon at the time. (Image credit: SpaceIL/IAI)

The new Israeli Beresheet 2 moon mission is go for a 2024 landing.

Development company SpaceIL announced that work on the mission, a successor to the Beresheet spacecraft that crash-landed on the moon in 2019, is starting shortly.

"We are proud to announce that #Beresheet2 is going to head to the moon in the first half of 2024!" SpaceIL officials wrote on Twitter Wednesday (Dec. 9). "It will include two landers, each of which will carry out experiments on the surface of the moon, and an orbiter that will stay for several years. #IsraelToTheMoon."

Related: This is the last photo Israel's Beresheet moon lander ever took

The company recently published a call for proposals for experiments for the mission, and submissions are still coming in, SpaceIL added on a website describing the mission. "The ideas will be examined by a professional team which will decide which experiments will be conducted as part of the Beresheet 2 framework," SpaceIL said.

SpaceIL is an Israeli nonprofit organization that attempted to become the first Israeli entity to softly land a spacecraft on the surface of the moon. Beresheet did reach its destination, but crashed during the landing.

The first Beresheet mission launched on Feb. 21, 2019, on a used SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and spent two months orbiting in longer and longer loops around Earth before reaching the moon.

SpaceIL was inspired by the Google Lunar X Prize, an international competition that aimed to put a privately funded lander on the moon. While the prize expired with no award, some of the participating companies are now making other attempts under NASA's Commercial Lunar Payload Services program to support the agency's forthcoming Artemis human moon landings, scheduled to begin in 2024.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: