An Israeli spacecraft, Beresheet, crashed trying to land on the moon Thursday afternoon. Right before the unmanned aircraft attempted to land, the main engine experienced problems and there was a communications failure.
Beresheet, which is the first word of the Hebrew Bible and means “in the beginning,” was a combined effort between SpaceIL, a privately funded non-profit and Israel Aerospace Industries. It was the first privately funded mission to the moon.
“We had a failure in the spacecraft, we unfortunately have not managed to land successfully,” Opher Doron, the general manager of IAI said during a live broadcast from mission control, according to Space.com. “It’s a tremendous achievement up ’til now.” (RELATED: President Trump Continues To Make Space A Priority)
“If at first you don’t succeed, you try again,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently secured his fifth term, added.
If the spacecraft had landed on the moon successfully, Israel would have become the fourth country — behind the United States, China and the former Soviet Union — to have successfully perform a soft-landing.
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) February 20, 2019
SpaceIL co-founder Yonatan Weintraub told Fox News in a statement back before the launch in February, “After more than eight years of working with brilliant engineers, we are finally ready to launch our spacecraft to the Moon!”