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Israel is undeterred by its hard moon landing

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Israel is undeterred by its hard moon landing

Israel is undeterred by its hard moon landing

Israeli spacecraft Beresheet crashed onto the moon on Thursday after a series of technical failures during its final descent, shattering hopes of a historic controlled landing on the lunar surface.

But even though it wasn't successful - it was still a unique mission.

Emily Wither reports.


Israel is undeterred by its hard moon landing

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER, BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, SAYING: "If at first you don't succeed you try again." Words of encouragement from Israel's Prime Minister after the country's first spacecraft failed to land on the moon.

If successful it would have made history.

But even though it didn't - it was still a unique mission.

Rather than the product of a government program, it was the first built by a state-owned company and an Israeli non-profit space venture with 100 million dollars funded almost entirely by private donors.

And makers of the unmanned robotic lander, named Beresheet, said it was the smallest, cheapest spacecraft ever to get to the moon.

Reuters correspondent Ari Rabinovitch was in mission control.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, ARI RABINOVITCH, SAYING: "Behind me is the mission control room where a team of engineers have been communicating with the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet for the past seven weeks unfortunately its journey came to an end just moments ago when it crashed in to the lunar surface after suffering a number of technical failures during its descent.

It did however manage to please the crowd that had gathered here to watch the landing by getting off a couple of selfies with the moon surface as its background." Only three nations have succeeded in carrying out a "soft", or controlled, landing on the lunar surface: the U.S., the Soviet Union and China.

Beresheet's name is Hebrew for the biblical phrase 'In the beginning'.

Israel's space pioneers are hoping this is just the first chapter of their space exploration.

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