Newspaper: Israeli spacecraft crashes during moon landing

Pablo Tucker
November 6, 2019

An Israeli spacecraft crashed on the moon Thursday evening during final touchdown, as its main engine stopped working.

Yesterday, Israel's first mission to the Moon ended in a rather abrupt and unsatisfying manner. A full investigation will now begin.

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

"We reached the moon but we´d like to land more comfortably", he added. The attempt alone is a huge achievement. Only three - The US, Russia, and China - have successfully completed a soft-landing. However, a tiny country dreamt big and made it to the moon. The Israeli Aerospace Industry's space division and SpaceIL, the non-profit that sent the craft into space, are now indicating they presume it to be damaged beyond further function.

Just before the landing attempt Netanyahu said that he was thinking about initiating a national space project. Aside from the accomplishment of reaching the moon, Beresheet it outfitted with equipment that will measure the magnetic properties of the moon's rocks. This marks the unfortunate end of the first attempt at this mission, a mission which also saw the first Israeli spacecraft leave our Earth's orbit - in the history of humanity.

He said the spacecraft's engine turned off shortly before landing, and scientists were still trying to figure out the cause. "We'll try again." "Israel will land on the moon!" he promised.

"Sometimes it doesn't work the first, second, third or even fourth time, but eventually it will work. I want to encourage you to continue studying engineering and sciences, because one day you will be able to reach the moon, the stars and beyond".

Beresheet has traveled over 4 million miles in its orbits around the earth and moon to arrive at the crucial point of toady's landing. The mission budget stood at about NIS 350 million, far less than the other three countries spent when they undertook such a mission.

Beresheet will carry with it a digital "time capsule" which will be loaded with extracts from the Bible, children's drawings and memories from a Holocaust survivor. The $100 million Israeli lunar project was ultimately financed by philanthropists, including Morris Kahn, SpaceIL president and a founder of Amdocs Ltd, and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Google ended the contest in 2018 with no winners, but the Israeli team made a decision to continue its efforts privately. 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.

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