Israeli-built lander crashes on moon

Beresheet view of moon

One of the last pictures sent back by the Beresheet lander shows the lunar surface. (SpaceIL Photo)

An Israeli-built lander crashed onto the moon today during its final descent, bringing an unfortunate end to the first privately funded lunar mission.

“We had a failure on the spacecraft,” Opher Doron, general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries’ space division, said during a live webcast of the spacecraft’s landing attempt. “We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully.”

The crash was traced to an apparent engine malfunction. It came a month and a half after the dishwasher-sized lander was sent into space by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a pre-launch logistical assist from Seattle-based Spaceflight.

The Beresheet lander, which took its name from the Hebrew phrase for “In the Beginning,” was funded with nearly $100 million in private money, led by Israeli billionaire Morris Kahn’s $40 million contribution. Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson provided another $24 million for the effort.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

About Alan Boyle

Aerospace and science editor for GeekWire, creator of Cosmic Log, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.
This entry was posted in GeekWire and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.