First privately funded moon lander crash-lands
A successful touchdown would have made Israel the fourth country to pull off a lunar landing. Despite the crash, the mission is still significant.
On April 11, an Israeli lander named after the Hebrew word for “Genesis” attempted to mark a new beginning for space exploration by becoming the first privately funded spacecraft to touch down on the moon. Built by the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL, the Beresheet lander tried to softly land within Mare Serenitatis, a vast volcanic basin on the moon's northern near side—but as it made its descent, the spacecraft's main engine failed. Engineers reset the spacecraft but lost communications, and the 330-pound lander ultimately crashed.
On April 12, SpaceIL released preliminary data from the last few moments of the mission, which show that despite resetting Beresheet, the spacecraft was descending at more than 300 miles an hour while it was less