On April 11, the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL tried to land a small robot on the surface of the moon. But an errant software command apparently caused the lander’s main engine to shut off and slam into the moon. Now new before-and-after pictures taken around April 22 and released on Wednesday from NASA reveal the results of Beresheet’s high-speed crash.
“While the spacecraft did land, it first touched the surface about 1,000 meters per second [2,200 mph] faster than intended,” Mark Robinson, a lunar researcher at NASA, said in a blog post about the images.
That speed is roughly twice as fast as a bullet shot from a gun. Robinson added that Beresheet came down at a sharp angle, and disintegrated upon impact, leaving a sizable scar on the moon.
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