Israeli SpaceIL Spacecraft Fails to Make Moon Landing

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It's been reported, based on information from the livestream, that an Inertial Measurement Unit failed and the team was unable to reset the component due to a repeated loss of communications with the JPL network. "I think the achievement of getting to where we got is really tremendous".

"We are resetting the spacecraft to try to enable the engine", an announcer said during a live broadcast on YouTube from mission control, later confirming the reset worked and the engine had come back online.

Had it not failed, Israel would have become the fourth country - after Russian Federation, the United States, and China - to land on the moon.

"We like to tell the kids that if they want to know what's in there, they just need to build a spacecraft and fly to the moon and find out themselves", Damari said.

Israel's spacecraft Beresheet has crashed into the moon at approximately 10:25 pm, April 11, 2019, 7 Nissan 5779.

SpaceIL announced its intention to land a privately developed and funded spacecraft on the Moon in 2011, during an worldwide space conference in Israel.

It was meant to be the first-privately funded spaceship to touch down on the moon this evening. An additional $5 million was available for various special accomplishments, bringing the contest's total purse to $30 million.

It had hitched a ride on the SpaceX Falcon rocket, which had been launched from Florida in February.

"The spacecraft Beresheet did not successfully complete its landing on the moon", an onscreen message said.

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Its circuitous flight path was around 4 million miles (6.5 million km).

Beresheet was created to take measurements of the Moon's magnetic field there using an instrument supplied by the University of California, Los Angeles.

The unmanned robotic lander had a number of technical problems during its final descent to the lunar surface, the mission's crew said.

Beresheet was aiming to land at an area known as the Sea of Serenity, or Mare Serenitatis in Latin, which is near where Apollo 17 astronauts landed in 1972, NASA said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted Israel will succeed within two to three years. NASA was also broadcasting the event. But Beresheet was not a science mission at heart.

And the lander has certainly done all of that.

An Israeli spacecraft lost contact with Earth and crashed just moments before it was to land on the moon late Thursday, failing in an ambitious attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar mission.

"And here we are eight years later with a project with a budget of nearly $100 million". Signals from the spacecraft were lost at about 19:24 UTC (15:24 EDT), as Beresheet apparently crash-landed and stopped transmitting.

"Well, we didn't make it, but we definitely tried", said Morris Kahn, chairman of SpaceIL.