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April 12, 2019 2:33 pm

Space Industry Leaders Praise Israel’s SpaceIL for Beresheet Moon Mission

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The final image sent by Israeli spacecraft Beresheet before it crash-landed on the moon. Photo: courtesy of Space IL.

Astronauts and scientists at the US space agency NASA commended the Israeli non-profit organization SpaceIL for its efforts after its spacecraft “Beresheet” failed to land safely on the moon on Thursday.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.”

“Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress,” he added. “I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements.”

Famed Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, wrote in a Twitter message to SpaceIL, “Never lose hope – your hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all!” European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake expressed disappointment over Beresheet’s failed moon landing but said SpaceIL has “much to be proud of.”

Beresheet lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Feb. 22 and succeeded in entering the moon’s orbit, a feat only seven countries have accomplished. It is assumed that the aircraft crashed into the surface of the moon.

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