REUTERS/Image caption: One of the last photos taken by Beresheet of the moon's surface before it crashed

The first privately funded mission to the Moon has crashed on the lunar surface after the apparent failure of its main engine.

The Israeli spacecraft – called Beresheet – attempted a soft landing, but suffered technical problems on its descent to the Moon’s surface.

The aim of the mission was to take pictures and conduct experiments.

Israel hoped to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have made successful Moon landings.

“We didn’t make it, but we definitely tried,” said project originator and major backer Morris Kahn.

“I think that the achievement of getting to where we got is really tremendous, I think we can be proud,” he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, watching from the control room near Tel Aviv, said: “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.”

After a seven-week journey to the Moon, the unmanned spacecraft approached a final orbit at 15km (9m) from the surface.

Tensions were high in the command centre as communications were lost before Opher Doron, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Indurstries’ space division, announced there had been a failure in the spacecraft. “We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully,” he said.

1 COMMENT

  1. News reports say that a privately – funded Israeli spacecraft , called Beresheet , crashed at the surface of the Moon on 12 April 2019. It is claimed that the aim of the mission was to take pictures and conduct experiments. So far Soviet Union , the U.S. and China have been successful in landing at the Moon while Israel would have been the fourth had the mission been successful completely. In this context , it is apt to bring out here this Vedic astrology writer’s predictive alert for more care and appropriate strategy through article – “ World Predictions 2019” – brought to public domain extensively last year in and after November 2018. While alerting Israel also , it was said that “ anything that has a passage through space could give rise to some worrisome concern” during February -March , 2019. Later , in March 2019 , the alert for more care and appropriate strategy for Israel in the matter of spacecraft , air-planes was emphasized covering about mid-April to August 2019 also. It seems the alert has been confirmed meaningfully accurate by actual happening on the ground.

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