Israeli spacecraft fails to become first commercial moon lander

Could this plan work? More

"We are optimistic about seeing this first domino fall, setting off a chain reaction of increasingly affordable and repeatable commercial missions to the Moon and beyond". The lander is "the first privately funded spacecraft to the Moon, the first Israeli spacecraft to leave Earth orbit, [and] the first lunar lander to attempt such a wondrous feat at a modest budget".

Now, a press release from SpaceIL confirmed those reports, stating that a technical glitch in one of Beresheet's components caused the spacecraft's main engine to malfunction.

It entered the lunar orbit last week, and performed several successful manoeuvres by firing the Buckinghamshire-built engine for up to a minute at a time, but the final firing on descent failed, so the craft could not reduce speed to land.

"We will try again", Netanyahu said.

The aim of the mission was to conduct experiments and take lots of pictures of its surroundings, and despite its shortfall, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was optimistic about a second chance.

The spacecraft hitched a ride on a SpaceX Falcon rocket launched from Florida in February.

'Shameful act in British-Indian history': United Kingdom envoy on Jallianwala Bagh massacre
In the memorial's guest book Asquith, a descendant of Herbert Asquith, prime minister from 1908-16, called the events "shameful". He said his country regrets "the suffering caused" and "the revulsion that we felt at the time is still strong today".

Its circuitous flight path was around 4 million miles (6.5 million km).

Beresheet was about the size of a washing machine. The contest ended in March 2018 with no victor.

"SpaceIL's mission not only touched the moon, it touched the lives and hearts of an entire world that was watching", said XPRIZE executive chairman and founder Peter Diamandis in a statement. "I feel excited and honored to be a part of this endeavor", he said. An IAI spokesman said: "The Beresheet effect will lead the children of Israel to dream about Beresheet 2.0". "Congratulations to Morris Kahn, their primary benefactor and the entire SpaceIL team for all their accomplishments-we are so proud".

"No matter what actually happened, what SpaceIL is doing here achieves our whole vision". It cost $100 million - more than the entrepreneurs had hoped to spend, but far less than a government-funded spacecraft. "It makes it really hard to test" the spacecraft's landing back on Earth.

Phil Larson of the University of Colorado, who was a space adviser in the Obama White House, said the Israeli effort underlines that "space is still extremely hard, and landing human made objects on other worlds is an utmost challenge".

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