It would have been the first privately-owned lander on the surface of the Moon, and would have made Israel the fourth country to reach the surface of the Moon — but the craft experienced engine failure during its final approach.
“We have a failure of the spacecraft,” said Israel Aerospace Industries general manager Opher Doron on livestream, according to CNBC. “We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully,”
As Beresheet was approaching the surface of the Moon, the main engine failed and Beresheet was forced to reset the engine.
With about 10 kilometers left to go (6.2 miles), the main engine cut out and the lander crashed into the Moon traveling at about 134 meters per second, according to the livestream.
“We failed the first try, we’ll make it in the second… within two years we’ll try it again,” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to CNBC.
SpaceIL tweeted a photo of the lander’s final approach minutes before it lost contact with the craft. In it, the Moon looms ominously in the background.
“We didn’t make it. But we definitely tried,” said SpaceIL.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional details.
More on Beresheet: The Israeli Moon Lander Is About to Touch Down