Israeli Unmanned Spacecraft Crashed Close to Moon

Ryan Fredrick, Reporter

Israel’s Beresheet, the first privately-funded mission to the moon, has crashed on the moon.

The unmanned spacecraft wanted to make a soft landing and would have made Israel the fourth country to land on the moon, with the United States, the former Soviet Union, and China being the other three, according to

“It was a multi-million dollar investment that failed spectacularly. I think it’s so cool that smaller countries are exploring space,” sophomore Trevor Slusser said.

Built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, lost communications with the control room in Israel during the landing sequence. As program managers who had been watching the mission in real time tried to re-establish communications, they also dealt with issues in the spacecraft’s main engine, according to CNN.

“Hopefully someday they will be able to make it. It’s hopeful knowing that people aren’t just giving up on space exploration,” freshman Rylee Ueltzen said.

At the time of the failure, the Beresheet was travelling approximately 2,110 miles per hour and was about 70 miles from the intended landing spot.

“They were so close to landing on the moon. At least it wasn’t a manned mission, so there weren’t any fatalities,” senior Abby Posse said.

The Beresheet spacecraft was launched on board a Falcon 9 rocket in late February. It traveled a total of 4 million miles to the moon, soaring around the Earth before entering orbit around the moon, according to NPR.