There had been much excitement leading up to the landing attempt, with the agency tweeting regular updates. However, its latest message said: “#Beresheet’s main engine fail! Spacecraft failed landing. Appeared to have crashed on the moon’s surface!” Beresheet marks the first time the Israelis have attempted to land a craft on the surface of the Moon.
After eight years of development, Beresheet spacecraft was launched from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Friday, January 22.
Had the mission been successful, the 160-kilogram unmanned four-legged spacecraft would have been the smallest and cheapest spacecraft ever to land on the moon.
Its Mission Control room was at Israel Aerospace Industries in Yehud, Israel.
Scientists had hoped to land its magnetometer, digital time capsule, and laser retroreflector on the Moon – as well as a bible.