Israel's spacecraft crash lands on Moon surface (+VIDEO) - aksu360

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Israel's spacecraft crash lands on Moon surface (+VIDEO)

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The first privately funded mission to the Moon has crashed on the lunar surface after the apparent failure of its main engine. The Israeli spacecraft - called Beresheet - attempted a soft landing, but suffered technical problems on its descent to the Moon's surface.

The aim of the mission was to take pictures and conduct experiments. Israel hoped to become the fourth country to land a spacecraft on the Moon. Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have made successful Moon landings. "We didn't make it, but we definitely tried," said project originator and major backer Morris Kahn.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, watching from the control room near Tel Aviv, said: "If at first you don't succeed, you try again." After a seven-week journey to the Moon, the unmanned spacecraft approached a final orbit at 15km (9m) from the surface.

Tensions were high in the command centre as communications were lost before Opher Doron, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Indurstries' space division, announced there had been a failure in the spacecraft. The audience outside had been through a turbulent journey themselves as they watched the first part of the landing go to plan.

The project has cost about $100m (£76m) and has paved the way for future low-cost lunar exploration.
Press the PLAY button below to watch the sad episode:

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