Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Sci-tech | By April Francis

SpaceIL Now Planning Second Private Moon Lander

SpaceIL Now Planning Second Private Moon Lander

The spacecraft is the first commercial mission to reach the Moon.

The spacecraft lost communication with Earth just minutes before it had been to get down, dashing hopes of creating history as the first lunar mission that was independently financed. The hope was that Beresheet would be the world's first privately funded mission to the moon, and to become the fourth nation to touch down on the moon's surface.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fresh off his victory in Tuesday's general election, was expected to watch from the control room in Yehud, near Tel Aviv. "They have paved the way for private missions to the Moon".

"We'll try again, and next time we'll just try it more gently". "It's been an fantastic journey, I hope we get a chance for another one".

The failure was a disappointing end to a lunar boat of 6.5 million kilometers (4 million miles), almost unprecedented in length and made to save fuel and reduce cost.

"We plan to launch Beresheet 2". The spacecraft hitched a ride on a SpaceX rocket launched from Florida in February.

The craft also carries a "time capsule" loaded with digital files containing a Bible, children's drawings, Israeli songs, memories of a Holocaust survivor and the blue-and-white Israeli flag.

The final manoeuvre on April 10, brought it into a tight elliptical orbit around the moon, around 15 km (9 miles) from the surface at its closest.

SpaceIL's Beresheet lander seflie during its landing attempt.

"We haven't landed on the moon yet, but Israelis are not losers, they're winners".

Although the Google prize expired in March without a victor, Israel's team pledged to push forward.

SpaceIL pressed on with its dream, convinced the mission would help inspire Israel's next generation to study science and engineering. "This is what I'm doing, and what I wanted to tell you this evening".

Buzz Aldrin, a former astronaut and the second man on the moon as a member of the US Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969, sent a heartfelt message to the team.

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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