Once in position to descend, the landing maneuver - split into two phases of decreasing horizontal velocity and then vertical velocity - commenced but failed to land after contact was lost with the spacecraft's main engine, leading to a loss of altitude and subsequent crash landing. Only China's Chang'e 4 spacecraft had recently in January landed on the moon's far side, also known as the dark side because it faces away from the Earth and remains comparatively unknown.
Israel's Beresheet, the first privately-funded mission to the moon, has crashed. Beresheet overcame the issue by restarting the engine. The landing, costing about 100 million USA dollars, was the first such commercial lunar mission.
Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu who was present in the control room at the consoled the engineers and the nation.
"We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully", said Opher Doron, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries' space division.
SpaceIL pressed on with its dream, convinced the mission would help inspire Israel's next generation to study science and engineering. The robotic vehicle, produced by SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, aims to be the first privately funded spacecraft to land softly on the moon. The craft had began preparing for landing on the moon's rocky surface Wednesday. "Israel made it to the moon, Beresheet's journey hasn't ended", chairman of SpaceIL Morris Kahn said.
So far, only Russian Federation, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre (239,000-mile) journey and landed on the Moon.
According to initial assessments, one of the spacecraft's inertial measurement units (IMUs) failed during the landing procedure.
"We thought it's about time for a change, and we want to get little Israel all the way to the moon", Yonatan Winetraub, co-founder of Israel's SpaceIL, a nonprofit organization behind the effort, told The Associated Press in February. It was built by Israeli nonprofit space venture SpaceIL and state-owned defence contractor Israel Aerospace Industries with $100 million furnished nearly entirely by private donors.
"There is a suspicion that we did not land on the moon in the best fashion". It is a privilege to be part of this mission that's taking one more step towards solving it'.
"We made it all the way to the moon". The contest ended previous year with no victor, but the XPRIZE Foundation announced that SpaceIL's accomplishments will be recognized with its inaugural $1 million Moonshot Award after a successful landing today (11 April).