We have closely followed the launch of the world’s first private mission to the moon, Israel’s Bereseet. It entered the Moon’s orbit a few days ago and attempted to land today at approximately 3:30 pm Eastern.

Sadly, the attempt failed.

“We have a failure of the spacecraft,” said Opher Doron, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries’ space division, which collaborated on building the spacecraft. The mood at the control center was somber but still celebratory.

“Well we didn’t make it, but we definitely tried,” said Morris Kahn, an Israeli telecommunications entrepreneur and president of SpaceIL, the nonprofit that undertook the mission. “I think we can be proud.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who attended the event at the mission’s command center in Yehud, Israel, said, “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.”.

I watched the attempted landing on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s live feed. The first few stages seemed to go smoothly.

The craft event sent back another selfie.

However, at 149 km, an issue arose with the main engine. Despite the fact the main engine returned, communications were lost and the team officially announced the landing failure shortly thereafter.

The Times of Israel is reporting the spacecraft appeared to have crashed.


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