Beresheet, an unmanned Israeli spacecraft and the world’s first privately funded mission to the moon, survived seven weeks in space and was successfully encapsulated into lunar orbit making to within 9 miles of the moon’s surface, but then lost connection with mission controls and crashed into the dirt at 300mph due to engine failure.

"According to all the signs, we won't be the fourth country to land on the moon. We were very close on the moon. We're on the moon, just not how we wanted. We'll check it again and try to understand what happened," the control room announced.

The Israeli spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station mounted on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February of 2019. Beresheet successfully started orbiting the moon in early April of 2019 and captured numerous photos of the dark side of the moon, which is a historical feat.

"If at first you don't succeed, you try again,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, watching the crash from the control room in Yehud, near Tel Aviv.

The cause of the engine failure has not yet been fully determined. Pieces of Beresheet are scattered on the moon not far from the anticipated landing site near the Sea of Serenity and Mare Serenitatis in the Moon’s northern hemisphere. The spacecraft was snapping selfies until the end, and did capture spectacular photography during the final descent into the moon.

"Beresheet came the closest Israel ever has to land on the moon, but unfortunately the landing was not completed successfully. We applaud @TeamSpaceIL for a tremendous scientific achievement, they made history by making Israel one of 7 nations who had ever orbited the moon," the Israeli government tweeted.

picture originally found here

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