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Israeli spacecraft fails to make historic landing on moon

ANI  |  Middle East 

Beresheet, the Israeli spacecraft, which was the first privately-funded mission to the moon, on Thursday (local time) narrowly missed out a historic attempt to land on the lunar surface after the lost its main engine while attempting a soft landing.

Beresheet was developed by and Aerospace Industries. If the mission had been completed successfully, would have been the fourth country, after the Soviet Union, the US and China, to land a spacecraft on the

As it was preparing to land, the technical problems occurred during the final moments of flight, as communications were lost with the spacecraft just long enough for the braking process to fail, and the crashed on the lunar surface.

After initiating the landing protocol, tensions were high in the control room near when they said that it had lost contact with one of the landing detectors when the was just less than 10 kilometres from the lunar surface, reported.

"According to all the signs, we won't be the fourth country to land on the moon. We were very close to the moon. We're on the moon, just not how we wanted. We'll check it again and try to understand what happened," the control room said.

Beresheet was successfully launched on February 22 and entered lunar orbit on April 4. The spacecraft had included plans to measure the Moon's local magnetic field and was carrying a retroreflector and a digital "time capsule".

In the final hours before landing, Beresheet's flight engineers found a flat surface where the spacecraft could land safely at a time when the moon's surface was not scorching hot due to the sun's exposure.

The moon rover had travelled more than 3.4 million miles in its orbits around the earth and completed another 1 million miles around the moon's surface.

Israeli Benjamin Netanyahu, who was tracking the spacecraft's movement from the control room, said that his country will continue its efforts to try landing successfully on the lunar surface.

"will land on the moon!", promised a determined Netanyahu.

was established in 2011 when it competed in the Lunar X Prize (GLXP) contest to land a spacecraft on the Moon.

Beresheet was the first Israeli spacecraft developed by the company to travel beyond Earth's orbit and would have been the first private lander on the moon had the mission became successful.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 04:00 IST