Israeli spacecraft Beresheet fails to successfully land on the moon with a crash. The supposed historic moment fails to come through during its scheduled mission on the afternoon of April 11.
The robotic vehicle, produced by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, aims to be the first privately funded spacecraft to land softly on the moon.
Opher Doron, the general manager of IAI said they encountered a failure in the spacecraft and had not managed to land successfully. He added that it was a huge accomplishment until now.
With the failure, Israel has to continue dreaming of being ranked among the Soviet Union, China, and the United States, which have all completed moon-landing missions.
Started As Planned, Ended With A Crash
On April 11, the planned day of the moon landing, more than 2,500 spectators sat on the plastic chairs outside of the command center to witness history. The online world was also engaged as websites such as Space and Universe organized a live telecast.
The landing was supposed to happen near an area called the Sea of Serenity. This place was chosen mainly due to its flat surface and minimal craters.
Everything looked well and according to plan, it even made the lunar orbit, sent back a photo taken near the surface of the moon, and almost made a lunar landing. What's more impressive is that all these achievements cost a total of about $100 million only.
No matter how promising it looks, success still boils down to how it ends. Unfortunately for Beresheet, the end game was not as good as the world hoped for. The landing sequence went smooth, but at around 3:25 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, the little robot crashed into the dirt. Communication controls went berserk as the spacecraft reached about 489 feet above the lunar surface.
Staying Positive Amid The Crash
A number of science and space personalities shared their sentiments on the failed mission.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, said if success does not come the first time, you try again. He watched the landing attempt from SpaceIL's command center in Yehud, Israel.
Morris Kahn, an Israeli entrepreneur, who helped found Beresheet, said that even if the spacecraft did not make it, at least the effort to try was there, and that is something to be proud of.
"Condolences to the Beresheet lander @TeamSpaceIL for what almost was!" Buzz Aldrin, astronaut at the Apollo 11 mission, tweets.
The Berseheet mission is more than just a space exploration endeavor. It hopes to inspire young kids to develop interest on science and space. The team had met with over 1 million Israeli school-aged children over the last eight years. Some of these kids will become scientists one day, and maybe help build, design and operate the spacecraft.
"Don't stop believing! We came close but unfortunately didn't succeed with the landing process," SpaceIL tweets.