Israeli spacecraft Beresheet reaches moon but landing unsuccessful: support team

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Now, Beresheet has been in the moon's orbit for ten days.

Get our weekly newsletter directly in your inbox! Considering it almost pulled off the miraculous feat of soft-landing a craft on the Moon - on such a small budget - there's every reason to believe the next chapter in Israel's space program will be even more exciting.

India hopes to become the fifth lunar country in the spring with its Chandrayaan-2 mission.

A screenshot from Instagram showing posts with the "Israel to the moon" hashtag.

The IAA arrivals timetable showing the expected moon landing.

The lander is equipped with a single British-built LEROS 2b engine fueled by MMH (monomethylhydrazine) and Monday (mixed oxides of nitrogen) for major maneuvers and the landing itself, along with small thrusters at the bottom of the craft.

Today, an Israeli spacecraft named Beresheet-Hebrew for "genesis"-attempted a soft landing on the Moon".

Space programs in only three nations - the U.S., Russian Federation and China - have successfully landed spacecraft on the moon.

But before its untimely demise, Beresheet was able to turn its camera toward the lunar surface one final time to snap a stunning last image of the moon's surface.

Beresheet ended up covering about 4 million miles (6.5 million kilometers) during this phase of the mission, team members said. A direct route from the Earth to the moon covers roughly 386,000 kilometres.

Its Mission Control room was at Israel Aerospace Industries in Yehud, Israel. Another payload is a CD-sized "time capsule" that contains digitized files of children's drawings, photographs and information about Israeli culture.

Beresheet was created to take measurements of the Moon's magnetic field there using an instrument supplied by the University of California, Los Angeles. In an email sent before touchdown, Diamandis said the mission "will no doubt chart the path towards a new generation of low-priced scientific lunar landers".

"Putting a spacecraft on the Moon is a little bit of a kind of a weird project", Kahn said. It is roughly the size of a washing machine, reaching a height of 1.5 meters, about two meters in width, and weighing just 600 kilograms.

Flight controllers from SpaceIL, the group of scientists and engineers who put together the mission, declared the spacecraft lost shortly after its signal went dark, and we still don't know exactly what went wrong.

Beresheet's story begins in 2011, when the nonprofit organization SpaceIL formed to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize. It cost about £70m, a fraction of the cost of previous state-led missions. "It's been an awesome journey, I hope we get a chance for another one". We dare to dream. Then, China's Change-4 spacecraft touched down on the far-side of the Moon earlier this year. It was the first privately funded mission to the moon.

When Google folded the contest, SpaceIL made a decision to continue on.

The spacecraft hitched a ride on the SpaceX Falcon rocket, launched from Florida in February.

The robotic moon lander was built by the non-profit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries.

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