On Thursday evening, Israel almost succeeded in rewriting the lunar history. However, it fell short after spacecraft Beresheet (Hebrew for Genesis) was unable to land safely on the Moon.
Millions around the world were watching the SpaceIL vessel live. The vessel was carrying an Israeli flag and a nano-Bible.
SpaceIL lost the contact with the spacecraft just minutes before it was due to complete the historic landing. This feat was previously achieved only by the U.S, Russia (the then USSR) and China.
Beresheet’s ground crew watched, monitored and executed each and every maneuver of the spacecraft from a control center for full 48 days at the IAI’s Yehud headquarters.
The landing maneuver got into a position of descend and split into two phases of decreasing the horizontal velocity and then vertical velocity. However it failed to land after the contact was lost with the spacecraft’s main engine, which eventually led to a loss of altitude and subsequent crash landing.