The Beresheet spacecraft.When you look up at the moon tonight, take a brief pause to remember Israel’s historic attempt to reach it.
Israel made history on February 22nd, 2019 when the first privately funded Israeli spacecraft took off for the moon. The 585-kg Beresheet lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Thursday night. Mission control was stationed in Yehud, a town just south of Tel Aviv to track progress.
Beresheet first orbited the earth, traveling a total of 6.5 million kilometers, the longest distance ever traveled to the moon, which is only about 380,000 kilometers from our planet.
The Israeli spacecraft contained a “time capsule” loaded with digital files including a Bible, children’s drawings, Israeli songs, memories of a Holocaust survivor and the blue-and-white Israeli flag.
On April 11th, after beginning its final landing maneuver at 22:10 Israel time the unmanned spacecraft lost it’s thrusters and ended up crashing on the moon.
The IAI engineers who were operating the spacecraft from Israel officially announced to the public via a live stream that the scheduled landing at 22:25 would not happen.
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu who was present in the control room consoled the engineers and the nation. “Write this down, in three years we will get another spacecraft on the moon, and this one will land in one piece”.
“If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. We’ll try again, and next time we’ll just try it more gently” said Netanyahu.
Look up at the moon again, and know that Israel will fulfill it’s dream soon enough.