Israeli spacecraft crashes onto moon after technical failures

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First privately funded spacecraft ‘is about to land on the moon’

"We made it all the way to the moon, which is a great accomplishment".

As it is, only 3 Nations have successfully landed on the Moon and those are the United States, China and the Soviet Union!

"The Beresheet spacecraft, literally meaning "Genesis" in Hebrew, offers us many firsts", Oded Aharonson told Eos.

Radio signals from the spacecraft flat-lined as the scheduled touchdown time came and went, leading engineers to assume that the small spacecraft was scattered in pieces after slamming into the landing site.

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"If at first, you don't succeed, try again". The landing, costing about 100 million U.S. dollars, was the first such commercial lunar mission.

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.

Aldrin, an Apollo astronaut who together with Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon, sent his condolences to Israel's SpaceIL team "for what nearly was" after the British-built engines failed to slow the Beresheet craft's descent. It blasted off from Florida'sCape Canaveral on February 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and entered Earth's orbit about 34 minutes after launch. Radio signals from the spacecraft, the size of a washing machine, abruptly cut off, and nervous chatter erupted in the control room.

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

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"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.

Beresheet made the final cut, but after several deadline extensions, the competition ended previous year without a victor.

Billionaire backer Morris Kahn, 89, said: "The journey hasn't ended. We are trying to clarify the matter", a member of the SpaceIL team monitoring the landing sequence said. An IAI spokesman said: "The Beresheet effect will lead the children of Israel to dream about Beresheet 2.0". She's worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX.

If they would've been successful, they would be the first non-government spacecraft to do so.

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"What makes it hard is the conditions - the geological and atmospheric conditions are different on the moon and the planets than they are on Earth", McCurdy said.

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