Israeli spacecraft crashes onto moon after technical failures

Israeli spacecraft crashes onto moon after technical failures

Israeli spacecraft crashes onto moon after technical failures

Aldrin, an Apollo astronaut who together with Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, sent his condolences to Israel's SpaceIL team "for what nearly was" after the British-built engines failed to slow the Beresheet craft's descent. "It's a tremendous achievement up to now".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was present at the launch following his re-election, commented on the failure from the mission's control center in Yehud, Israel.

"We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully", Doron said. Only teams from the United States, the former Soviet Union and China have done it before. By the time mission controllers rebooted the spacecraft to try and restart the engine, it was too late.

The small robotic spacecraft, built by the nonprofit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, had hoped to match a feat that has only been achieved by the national space agencies of three countries: U.S., Russian Federation and China.

"Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress", he added.

Israeli NGO SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the project's two main partners, have described it as the "world's first spacecraft built in a non-governmental mission".

"I am seriously considering investing in a space programme", he said in the webcast.

Speaking at the event, Netanyahu said that "this is one big step for humanity and a huge step for Israel".

Despite a landing that most likely resulted in the destruction of Beresheet, minutes after the crash, X Prize founder and Executive Chairman Peter Diamandis and CEO Anousheh Ansari said SpaceIL and IAI will still receive the award despite the craft's unfortunate ending.

President Reuven Rivlin hosted dozens of youngsters at his official residence, one of several celebrations scheduled across the country. "True, not as we had hoped, but we will succeed in the end". "The other countries are far bigger than us, but what is important for us is our imagination and persistence that allows us to achieve what we have done here".

Although the journey is 384,000 kilometres, Beresheet will have travelled a total of 6.5 million kilometres due to a series of orbits.

As Beresheet prepared to transition into lunar orbit, it turned on its magnetometer and began measuring the Moon's magnetic field and transmitting its data back to Earth.

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