Israeli Spacecraft Crashes Upon Lunar Landing Attempt

The BBC reports:

The first privately funded mission to the Moon has crashed on the lunar surface after the apparent failure of its main engine. The Israeli spacecraft – called Beresheet – attempted a soft landing, but had several technical and communication problems.

The aim of the mission was to take pictures and conduct experiments. Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the US and China have achieved moon landings.

The mission has cost about $100 million and has paved the way for future low-cost lunar exploration. Beresheet, which is Hebrew for “in the beginning”, was a joint project between SpaceIL, a privately funded Israeli non-profit organisation, and Israel Aerospace Industries.