Israeli spacecraft crashes in attempt to land on moon

While the Israeli craft did not successfully land on the moon on Thursday evening, both the prime minister and president expressed hope for the future of Israeli space exploration.

By World Israel News and AP

An Israeli spacecraft has failed in its attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar mission.

The SpaceIL spacecraft lost contact with Earth late Thursday, crashing just moments before it was to land on the moon. Scientists declared the mission a failure.

The small robotic spacecraft, built by the non-profit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, had hoped to match a feat that has only been achieved by the national space agencies of three countries: U.S., Russia and China.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand for what organizers had hoped to be a celebration.

Meanwhile, President Reuven Rivlin soothed the children who were invited to his residence to hopefully watch a successful landing.

Rivlin told the assembled youth, the moon mission was “an excellent achievement,” calling the evening an important night for the State of Israel,” reported Times of Israel

“There is no need to be disappointed. We need to praise what we accomplished.”

Netanyahu for his part predicted an moon landing within three years.