The Beresheet Spacecraft Crashed. What Next? | Sivan Rahav Meir

Aerospace Industries

On Thursday, former astronaut and second man on the moon Buzz Aldrin tweeted his condolences to the team behind the Beresheet spacecraft which crashed on the moon's surface on Thursday, saying the project was "inspiring".

The spacecraft lost communication with Earth just minutes before it had been to get down, dashing hopes of creating history as the first lunar mission that was independently financed. It will also be the first privately built craft to do so. Israeli state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI). also took part in its development, which continued even after the competition ended with no timely victor.

"SpaceIL's mission not only touched the Moon, it touched the lives and hearts of an entire world that was watching", said Peter H. Diamandis, executive chairman and founder of XPRIZE. "I hope this time we will succeed", he said at a cabinet meeting.

The failure was a disappointing end to a lunar boat of 6.5 million kilometers (4 million miles), almost unprecedented in length and made to save fuel and reduce cost. SpaceIL took advantage of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch in mid-February to get its craft into space.

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"We didn't make it, but we definitely tried, and I think the achievement of getting to where we got is pretty tremendous", Morris Kahn, SpaceIL president and primary funder, said in a livestream video of the moon landing attempt. That won't happen but the spacecraft is still up there somewhere with the Israeli flag and a digital time capsule loaded with Hebrew songs, stories, Israel's Declaration of Independence and national anthem, among other national symbols. But nevertheless, we congratulate SpaceIL on everything they have achieved so far!

And though the contest deadline passed a year ago on March 31, 2018 and the $20 million prize went unclaimed, SpaceIL chose to push forth with the project with the aim of "showing the next generation that anything is possible - that even our small country can push the limits of imagination". "If we're successful, we'll inspire children to study the subjects that took us there".

Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin expressed his regrets "for what nearly was" and tweeted: "Never lose hope-Your hard work, team work, and innovation is inspiring to all!" "We are on the moon, but not in the way that we wanted to be".

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