29 March 2020 - 5 Nisan 5780 - ה' ניסן ה' אלפים תש"פ
Beresheet spacecraft crash-lands on moon E-mail

Israel’s first moon lander came up just short in its historic touchdown bid on 11 April.

The robotic Beresheet spacecraft, built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), was set to become the first Israeli craft, and the first privately funded mission, ever to land softly on the moon. But the five-foot-tall robot did not quite make it, crashing into the gray dirt. Mission control lost communications with the spacecraft when it was about 489 feet (149 metres) above the moon’s surface. “We had a failure in the spacecraft; we unfortunately have not managed to land successfully,” said Opher Doron, the general manager of IAI, during a live broadcast from mission control. “It’s a tremendous achievement up ’til now.”

“If at first you don’t succeed, you try again,” said Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who watched the craft’s landing attempt from SpaceIL’s control centre in Yehud, Israel.

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