First privately funded mission to moon ends in failure after crash

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First privately funded mission to moon ends in failure after crash

 


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‘”We definitely crashed on surface of moon,” said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries.’ (stock photo)

An Israeli spacecraft lost contact with Earth and crashed just moments before it was to land on the moon late yesterday, failing in an ambitious attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar mission.

The spacecraft lost communication with ground control as it was making its final descent to the moon. Moments later, the mission was declared a failure.

“We definitely crashed on surface of moon,” said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries.

Mr Doron said the craft’s engine turned off shortly before landing. By the time power was restored, he said the craft was moving too fast to land safely. Scientists were still trying to figure out the cause of the failure.

“One of the measurement units failed. And that caused an unfortunate chain of events we’re not sure about,” he said.

The mishap occurred in front of a packed audience that included Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and was broadcast live on TV.

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Irish Independent

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