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Israeli spacecraft crashes in attempt to land on moon

Israeli spacecraft crashes in attempt to land on moon

"SpaceIL's mission not only touched the moon, it touched the lives and hearts of an entire world that was watching", said XPRIZE executive chairman and founder Peter Diamandis in a statement.

"XPRIZE will recognize SpaceIL's achievement with a $1 million Moonshot Award for its successful entry into lunar orbit and for its attempt to land on the lunar surface - both of which are "firsts" for a privately funded entity, marking a new era in space exploration", the foundation announced on April 12. But at 150 meters (492 feet) from the surface, all connection between SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries command center in the central Israeli city of Yehud and the spacecraft was lost completely as it moved vertically at 500 km/h (310.7 miles) and inevitably crashed. Moments later, the mission was declared a failure.

SpaceIL got its beginning from the Google Lunar X Prize Competition, which guaranteed $20 million for the privately funded robotic spacecraft to make it.

"I've decided that we are going to actually establish 'Beresheet 2, ' " he said in a video released by SpaceIL. Despite this disappointing incident, the team behind the Beresheet mission will try again, so Israel can be the fourth nation to accomplish a soft touchdown on the moon's surface, Space.com reported.

"The price of a mistake here could have been infinite", said Opher Doron, space division general manager at Israel Aerospace Industries, which functioned with SpaceIL on the project.

The spacecraft hitched a ride on the SpaceX Falcon rocket, launched from Florida in February. "Your hard work, teamwork and innovation is inspiring to all".

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The contest ended a year ago with no victor.

Beresheet will land on a plain of lava, if all goes according to plan.

SpaceIL expects the next generation of Israelis wills inspire to study engineering and science.

"The second I heard their dream, I wanted to support it", said Kahn.

They included drawings by children, pictures of Israeli symbols like the flag, Israeli songs and a booklet written by a Jewish man of his personal account of the Holocaust.

Buzz Aldrin, a former astronaut and the second man on the moon as a member of the US Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969, sent a heartfelt message to the team.