Israel lands on the moon: the mission of the spacecraft ends in an accident

The ship was intended to make a soft landing on the moon and would have made Israel the fourth country to do so, and by far the smallest. Only the United States, the former Soviet Union and China have done it before.

"I am sorry to say that our spacecraft did not reach the moon in one piece," said Opher Doron, manager of the Space Division of Aerospace Industries in Israel.

"We came to the moon, this is a great achievement, we are the seventh country to reach the moon."

The $ 100 million spacecraft, built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, lost communications with the control room in Israel during the landing sequence. As the program managers who had been observing the mission in real time attempted to reestablish communications, they also addressed the problems in the main engine of the spacecraft.

At the time of communications failure, the Beresheet was traveling at approximately 2,110 mph and was about 120 kilometers (approximately 74 miles) from its intended landing site.

"There is a suspicion that we do not land on the moon in the best way, we are trying to clarify the matter," said a SpaceIL team member who monitors the landing sequence.

The ship crashed on the last part of its journey, moments before it was supposed to land.

SpaceIL was founded eight years ago to compete for the Google Lunar XPrize. The contest offered $ 20 million for the first privately funded team to launch a spacecraft to the moon, broadcast high-definition video and travel 500 meters in any direction.

The X Prize was canceled in January 2018, but the Israeli team decided to continue its search for the lunar landing.

The Beresheet spacecraft was launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at the end of February. He traveled a total of 4 million miles to the moon, flying around the Earth before entering orbit around the moon.

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