Beresheet-Genesis in Hebrew- started as a private attempt by Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL, which Kahn now chairs, to win Google's 10-year space race competition Lunar X Prize. The State of Israel took part in the first launch and will do it again.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that they have failed during their first try.
Nobody at mission control was happy the night the news came in, he said, because "we missed by very little".
"SpaceIL, the start-up that functioned for more than eight years to find the spacecraft from the ground, revealed a technical glitch triggered a" series of events" that caused the spacecraft's engine to malfunction Thursday just 14 km (8.7 miles) above the heavens, making it" impossible to stop the spacecraft's velocity". "I hope this time we will succeed", he said at a cabinet meeting.
The failure was a disappointing ending to a 6.5 million-kilometer (4 million-mile) lunar voyage, nearly unprecedented in length, that was created to conserve fuel and reduce price. "We reached the moon, but we want to land more comfortably, and that is for the next time". It blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on February 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and entered Earth's orbit about 34 minutes after launch. It also had a time capsule that included a Bible, Israeli cultural symbols and a picture of famed Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who died in the crash of the US space shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Kahn, who mentioned he was encouraged by worldwide feedback on the first mission, said he intends to lead the second project, and will form a new group of donors to support Beresheet 2.0 and has appointed a new team, which started on Sunday. This resemblance to the moon will continue and will accompany us, also, all the way to the moon. "Never lose hope - your hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all!" he wrote on Twitter.
Beresheet made the final cut, but after several deadline extensions, the competition ended a year ago without a victor.
Beresheet will land on a plain of lava, if all goes according to plan. "If we're successful, we'll inspire children to study the subjects that took us there". "We would have been turning in distance toward a sun orbit that no one wants to enter".
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