American-Ukrainian Firefly builds a lunar lander based on Israeli Beresheet

The American space company Firefly Aerospace told about plans to develop a descending lunar module.

The company has an engineering research center in Ukraine. In 2017, the company was restarted by the American-Ukrainian entrepreneur Max Polyakov.

What the lunar lander will look like

It will borrow the technology of the Israeli Beresheet lunar lander, which was developed by Israel Aerospace Industries.

He fell on the surface of the Moon in April 2019 due to a failure occurred in the engine. Beresheet was to become the first private lander on the surface of the satellite. After its collapse, the development of Beresheet 2 was planned.

What Genesis will look like. Render Firefly Aerospace

Instead, Firefly Aerospace uses the design and core technology of the project. Agreements on the use of intellectual property have already been signed. The new lunar lander will be called Genesis.

Specifications of Genesis have not yet been disclosed, as well as the date of its possible launch. Firefly Aerospace hasn’t launched rockets yet – its first lightweight carrier Alpha should fly in December 2019. In its turn, Genesis should be brought into orbit by a Beta rocket. It has not been constructed yet.

How NASA, Firefly and Luna are connected

Firefly Aerospace is one of 9 companies with which NASA will collaborate on sending descending vehicles to the Moon as part of the NASA CLPS program.

Among other applicants for cargo delivery to the satellite surface there are Lockheed Martin, Astrobotic, Moon Express, Masten Space Systems, Deep Space Systems, Draper, Intuitive Machines, Orbit Beyond. The total amount of contracts under the program exceeds $2.6 billion.