Data suddenly stopped coming from the spacecraft, and after a few agonizing minutes, it became clear that the Beresheet was gone.
We finished an initial look at our telemetry data. It seems that the failure in our inertial measurement unit caused a chain of events in the spacecraft avionics which cut off the engines and cause the loss of the mission. The loss of the spacecraft was broadcast live on television screens all across Israel.
Israel was hoping to join a league of only three other nations that have managed to land on the moon: the US, the Soviet Union and China. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on hand to witness the crash. He said this isn’t an end to the program. If at first you don’t succeed, you try again. It’s a reminder of how hard it is to get to the moon.
The Chinese landed their first craft on the moon earlier this year. The US Space Agency, NASA, is planning to get new probes on the moon by 2024, and to get people back on the lunar surface by 2028.
Kevin Enochs, VOA News.