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Space exploration is tough.
And that’s something that we were all reminded of this week when the Beresheet lander, the first privately-funded lander to attempt a descent to the moon’s surface, experienced an engine failure and crashed.
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But not before taking a really awesome picture.
It would have been really cool if that lander had made it. Israel would have been the fourth country to successfully land a probe on the moon. Still, the country does join a prestigious club, failure or not.
India had previously landed an impact probe on the moon but it wasn’t like landing something like the Beresheet. Other nations to have landed on the probed include the Soviet Union, the United States, and the People’s Republic of China.
The whole budget for the project was $USD 100 million – an amazingly economical sum. To get the lander into space, the Beresheet piggybacked on the SpaceX Falcon 9 back on February 22nd.
NASA said of the failed landing: “While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit…Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress. I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements.”
A major backer of the project, Morris Kahn, said of the landing, “We didn't make it, but we definitely tried…I think that the achievement of getting to where we got is really tremendous; I think we can be proud.”
The lander might not have worked out as planned, but we did get an awesome picture.
What do you think of the picture? Let us know your thoughts in the comment's section below.