It was one very small message for Israel, but meant a lot.
Israel failed in its bid to land its spacecraft softly on the moon. It got a shoutout from someone who fared much better. He is the famous astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the lunar surface.
The 89-year-old veteran of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969 said on Twitter on Thursday, “Condolences to the Beresheet lander @TeamSpaceIL for what almost was!”.
He added that communications were lost with the spacecraft just 150 meters above the surface, and it couldn’t quite stick the landing.
He advised Israel to never lose hope and the hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all.
Almost half a century ago, his commander, Neil Armstrong, uttered one of the immortal words in history, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” when he first kept his feet on the surface of moon.
Beresheet, which means “Genesis” in Hebrew, crashed on the moon after its main engine failed during the landing procedures on Thursday night, bringing its 4 million-mile journey and the dreams of the Jewish state to an end, no one would have wanted.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated Israel for its success in putting a craft into the lunar orbit.
Bridenstine said in a statement that while NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, they congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries as well as the state of Israel on the great achievement of sending the first ever privately funded mission into the lunar orbit.