Israel’s Beresheet Spacecraft Crashes During Historic Moon Landing Attempt

Israel Moon
Ariel Schalit/AP

An Israeli spacecraft attempting to make history by becoming the first privately funded craft to land on the moon suffered an engine failure during its descent and crashed onto the lunar surface, NBC News reported.

The Beresheet spacecraft was to have touched down on the moon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. ET. But officials with SpaceIL, the Israeli nonprofit organization behind the mission, reported that they lost contact with the four-legged spacecraft as it neared the surface of the moon.

If successful, Israel would have become the fourth nation — after the United States, Russia and China — to land a spacecraft on the moon. The four-legged craft, about the size of a washing machine, would also have become the first privately funded spacecraft to settle on the lunar surface.

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