Israel’s hopes to be the fourth nation to reach the moon were dashed when spacecraft ‘Beresheet’ failed to land last night.
The privately-funded Israeli organisation SpaceIL announced on Twitter that the landing had failed at 9pm. They tweeted: “Don’t stop believing! We came close but unfortunately didn’t succeed with the landing process. More updates to follow.”
The main engine failed causing the space craft to crash.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was watching from the control room near Tel Aviv, said: “If at first you don’t succeed, you try again.”
— החדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) April 11, 2019
The joint venture between SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries cost a total of $100 million and was an attempt to pave the way for low cost-space travel.
— Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) April 11, 2019
Beresheet was launched on 22 February 2019 from Cape Canaveral in Florida and took weeks to reach the moon – far longer than previous missions which took a matter of days.
Some Twitter users took to the internet to make jokes about Israel’s attempts to annex the moon, in reference to their illegal occupation of Palestine.
One tweeted: “There goes Israel’s plan to occupy the moon as part of the Levant.”
Another asked: “Will Israel occupy the moon in its entirety or just build a few settlements? Watch this space.”
Quds News Network simply tweeted: “#Israel fails to occupy the #moon!”
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) April 11, 2019