Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashes on Moon
Israel's Beresheet spacecraft crashed into the surface of the moon, coming just short of the venture’s goal.
Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL was aiming to become the first private entity to softly land a spacecraft on the moon’s surface — a feat previously achieved by only three governments in history. SpaceIL confirmed that its robotic 'Beresheet' spacecraft was not successful.
"We have a failure of the spacecraft. We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully," general manager of the Israel Aerospace Industries space program Opher Doron said on the SpaceIL’s livestream of the landing attempt.
"If at first you don’t succeed, try again," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the crash. He added the prediction that Israel will be successful in two or three years, as "an Israeli spacecraft will land on the moon, whole," CNBC reported.
The only other countries to reach the lunar surface before Israel are the United States, Russia and China. No private entity has safely landed a spacecraft on the moon.
SpaceX launched Beresheet as a secondary payload on a Falcon 9 rocket in February. The spacecraft traveled for nearly seven weeks before reaching the moon.