When Beresheet, the lunar lander built by the Israel-based company SpaceIL, crashed into the Moon, it was carrying more than the hopes and dreams of the first private company to reach the Moon.
It also happened to be a small piece of NASA equipment. But the device may have survived the crash, according to Space.com – a remarkable testament to the space agency's equipment.
Search and Rescue
In a serendipitous twist, the device – called a Lunar Retroreflector Array (LRA) – happens to function as a sort of beacon. The spherical gadget, full of cubic quartz mirrors, is meant to help guide spacecraft to precise landings, sort of like the lights illuminating at airport runway. That means that NASA scientists could feasibly find it in a follow-up mission.
"Yes, we believe the laser reflector array would have survived the crash, although it may have separated from the main spacecraft body," MIT scientist David Smith said. Space.com . “Of course, we do not know the orientation of the array. It could be upside down, but it has a 1
READ MORE: Did NASA Experiment Survive Israeli Moon Lander's Crash? [ Space.com ]
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