Israel’s First Moon Landing Attempt Fails

Israel’s attempt at a potentially historic moon landing failed on Thursday. The Beresheet lunar lander suffered from engine failure in the final moments of its descent. It was reportedly coming in too fast and at too low of an altitude before the engine failed. The lander would have been the first privately funded spacecraft to land on the moon’s surface, and the first for Israel. Israel is one of only seven countries to have orbited the moon; only the U.S., China, and Russia have successfully landed on the moon. The Israeli spacecraft was privately funded through donations from wealthy philanthropists. Newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said of the attempt: “If at first you don't succeed, you try again.” The lunar lander was carrying the Israeli flag along with the slogan, “Small Country, Big Dreams.”