Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashes in attempt to land on moon

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashes in attempt to land on moon

India hopes to become the fifth lunar country in the spring with its Chandrayaan-2 mission. The craft carried an instrument known as the SpaceIL Magnometer (SILMAG), which would have measured magnetism of moon rocks and help to answer how it developed a magnetic field in the first place. That mission ended in failure on Thursday, but SpaceIL still proved that the sky truly is not the limit for a small group of Israelis and supporters courageous enough to break through it. "We'll try again, and next time we'll just try it more gently".

Team SpaceIL's Beresheet lunar failed to land on the surface of the moon on Thursday, preventing it from becoming the first Israeli spacecraft and the first privately funded probe to reach the surface of a celestial body beyond Earth.

The spacecraft lost communication with ground control during its final descent.

Confirming the Israeli mission failure, Opher Doron, the general manager of IAI, said, "We had a failure of the spacecraft".

The former Soviet Union achieved the first soft landing with its spacecraft Luna 9 in 1966.

"One of the inertial measurement units failed".

"Well, we didn't make it, but we definitely tried", Kahn said after failure during Thursday's broadcast. "The engine was turned off".

The spacecraft's engine had turned off shortly before landing. We knew it was a risky mission, and the risk we were taking to build it cheap and fast. Communication was then lost for good, with the working assumption for the present being that the craft was destroyed on impact.

The mood in mission control and the viewing area turned immediately somber.

"If at first you don't succeed, you try again", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who watched Beresheet's landing attempt from SpaceIL's control center in Yehud, Israel.

He said: "A [n Israeli] spacecraft will land on the moon - whole".

Viewing parties across the country were also dashed, the AP reported. SpaceIL also planned to share its data with NASA and other space agencies and "hop" Beresheet to another location using its thrusters.

President Reuven Rivlin watched the landing attempt from his official residence with a group of schoolchildren.

It is an incredible achievement to have gotten this far. "True, not as we had hoped, but we will succeed in the end". It blasted off from Cape Canaveral in the United States on February 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and entered Earth's orbit about 34 minutes after launch.

Upon finally reaching the Moon's surface (albeit at higher velocity than intended) it had traveled four million miles - officially having taken the longest route of any craft to ever visit the lunar surface. "I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements".

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