Israel’s spacecraft crashes on moon moments before landing

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Source AP

And in fact, Beresheet even managed to take a selfie a few minutes earlier, at around 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) from the surface. The spacecraft completed a maneuver April 4 called a lunar capture that placed it in an elliptical orbit around the Moon, setting the stage for its first landing attempt on April 11. Nasa's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) may also be able to take an image of the crash site.

Despite a restart, this meant that the spacecraft was unable to slow down during the final stages of its descent. "Eventually, at a distance of 10km from the moon, there was a total communication failure and Beresheet crashed". "We seem to have a problem with our main engine", SpaceIL's commentator said during a live webcast of the landing operations.

As for what went wrong, the investigation there is still ongoing. The IAI director said, "The lunarcraft carried a "time capsule" with it that contained children drawings, books and other material".

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"We've reached the moon, but we want to land more comfortably, and there will be another attempt". Israel ambassador to India Ron Malka said, "Though Beresheet landed on the moon but not the way we wanted to. If we succeeded every time, there would be no reward", Zurbuchen tweeted after the failed Beresheet landing. The engine lost power and the spacecraft's signal went dark just moments after it was sacked back up. "Never lose hope-your hard work, teamwork and innovation is inspiring to all". "We are the seventh country to orbit the moon and the fourth to reach the moon's surface", said another. Kahn ended up investing $43 million toward the project's final cost of about $100 million (R1.4 billion).

Israel may not have succeeded in a soft landing on the moon, but the tiny country is not giving up on its lunar ambitions just yet. He congratulated SpaceIL for coming close to a landing, and said he would visit Israel later this year to discuss potential future cooperation.

SpaceIL was founded eight years ago to compete for the Google Lunar XPrize.

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The president's direction from Space Policy Directive-1 galvanizes NASA's return to the Moon and builds on progress on the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft, collaborations with U.S industry and worldwide partners, and knowledge gained from current robotic assets at the Moon and Mars.

"Well, we didn't make it, but we definitely tried", Kahn said after failure during Thursday's broadcast. "I think we can be proud", he said.

The one-way trip was to have included an attempt to measure the lunar magnetic field, which would have helped to understand the moon's formation.

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