Israel’s attempted Moon landing fails moments before touchdown

A tiny robotic lander from Israel attempted to touch down on the Moon this afternoon, but ultimately failed to stick the landing during its final descent to the surface. As it was firing its main engine to land on the ground, some kind of failure occurred, causing the engine to shut down. The mission team got the engine back online, but could not regain communication with the spacecraft, suggesting the lander crashed into the surface.

“We had a failure in the spacecraft, Opher Doron, head of IAI’s space division, said during a live stream of the landing. “We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully. We are the seventh country to orbit the Moon, and the fourth to reach the Moon’s surface. It’s a tremendous achievement up until…

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