Beresheet Spacecraft Snaps Stunning Picture Shortly Before Crashing Into Moon

By  //  April 12, 2019

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lander would have been first private mission to reach the Moon

ABOVE VIDEO: Israel fails to land spacecraft on the Moon.

(FOX NEWS) –Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft snapped a stunning picture of the Moon moments before it crashed into the lunar surface Thursday.

The spacecraft experienced an engine problem seconds before it was expected to reach the Moon. Beresheet was just a few hundred feet above the lunar surface when Mission Control in Yehud, Israel, lost contact with the probe.

The lander would have been the first private mission to reach the Moon.

Beresheet, which is Hebrew for “in the beginning,” was developed by the Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries.

“Preliminary data supplied by the engineering teams of SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) suggests a technical glitch in one of Beresheet’s components triggered the chain of events yesterday that caused the main engine of the spacecraft to malfunction,” the Mission explained, in a statement released Friday.

“Without the main engine working properly, it was impossible to stop Beresheet’s velocity. Beresheet overcame the issue by restarting the engine. However, by that time, its velocity was too high to slow down and the landing could not be completed as planned.”

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Beresheet captured this picture of the Moon just moments before the spacecraft crashed into the lunar surface. (Image by SpaceIL/Israel Aerospace Industries)

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