Israel’s private spacecraft Beresheet crashed into the Moon on Thursday after being hit with problems during descent, denying the Jewish state a place in the elite club of nations that mastered a lunar landing.
“Small country, big dreams,” the engraving on the spacecraft’s body read, but those dreams weren’t destined to come true.
Beresheet’s engine stopped working around 10 kilometers from the surface, with the vehicle crashing into the Moon at a speed of over 130 meters per second.
Beresheet, which is Hebrew for the biblical phrase “in the beginning,” could have also become the first private spacecraft to land on the Moon.
It was constructed by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries. The $100 million needed for the ambitious project came from private investors.