World's first private moon lander, Beresheet, fails to land on moon
The spacecraft was sent into space on SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Feb 21.
Israel's first moon-lander, the Beresheet, has not been successful in landing on the surface of the moon. The robotic spacecraft crashed, when it was at around 489 feet (149 meters) above the moon's surface around 3:25 p.m. EDT (1925 GMT). It was the first privately-funded spacecraft to orbit the moon and attempt landing on it.
The nonprofit organization SpaceIL won Google Lunar X Prize and a funding of $20 million in 2011. The prize expected to send the robotic spacecraft on the moon’s surface and send high resolution images. If the mission was successful, the team would have received a million dollars from Google Lunar X. But, even though the mission was not completed, XPRIZE has announced that it will still reward the team for the effort.
They may not have had a successful landing this time, but @TeamSpaceIL has still made history. They will be the recipients of our first ever $1M Moonshot Award, in honor of their achievements and their milestone as the first privately-funded entity to orbit the Moon. #moonshot pic.twitter.com/ErUfjqvvxY— XPRIZE (@xprize) April 11, 2019
Beresheet left for the moon on Feb 21st on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The spacecraft has been built by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).
"We had a failure in the spacecraft; we unfortunately have not managed to land successfully," said Opher Doron, the general manager of IAI, during the live broadcast of the mission. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "It's a tremendous achievement up 'til now." "If at first you don't succeed, you try again,” Watch the live video feed of mission control, right here:
Peter H. Diamandis, executive chairman and founder of XPRIZE said, “SpaceIL’s mission not only touched the Moon, it touched the lives and hearts of an entire world that was watching,”. “The legacy SpaceIL will have on the future of the space industry is significant. This team’s ability to build a lunar lander for $100 million and less than 50 engineers is remarkable, a leap forward towards affordable and accessible space exploration. Congratulations to Morris Kahn, their primary benefactor, and the entire SpaceIL team for all their accomplishments -- we are so proud.”
Anousheh Ansari, chief executive officer of XPRIZE said “As a testament to the team’s passion and persistence, we are presenting this $1 Million Moonshot Award to the SpaceIL team at our annual Visioneering Summit in October 2019, with the hope that they will use these funds as seed money towards their education outreach or Beresheet 2.0, a second attempt to fulfill the mission.”