"We made it all the way to the moon". However, none of the commercial companies successfully completed that by the competition deadline. (NASA had previously crashed Rangers 4, 5 and 6 into the moon between 1962 and 1964.) In 1966, the USSR became the first country to achieve a soft landing on the moon with Luna 9, followed by another with Luna 13.
The XPrize was cancelled in January 2018 but the Israeli team made a decision to continue its pursuit of the moon landing. Google promised to give the private agency $1 million for a successful landing as a consolation prize. "There's no question this is a global news story that still inspires and guides future innovators and entrepreneurial startups", said Peter Diamandis, XPrize founder.
President Reuven Rivlin hosted dozens of youngsters at his official residence. "It is by far the smallest, cheapest spacecraft ever to get to the moon", he said. "If we succeeded every time, there would be no reward", Zurbuchen tweeted.
Netanyahu also predicted that Israel would land a ship successfully in two or three years. He told those present, "If at first you don't succeed, try again".
Netanyahu vows the country will try again.
He said the spacecraft was now in pieces scattered across the planned landing site. But it wasn't the first time that a robotic moon landing failed in this way.More news: Calif. Federal Judge Blocks 'Remain in Mexico' Policy
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Beresheet was designed and built by SpaceIL, a privately funded nonprofit based in Israel. "I think that the achievement of getting to where we got is really tremendous. Hopefully, when the landing is successful, we'll have so much joy in our veins that the challenges and problems we've had to overcome will look different". Last week, the XPrize Foundation announced it would award SpaceIL $1 million if Beresheet sticks the landing on Thursday.
The private moon mission was one of several worldwide contenders for a $20 million Google Lunar XPRIZE if they had landed on the moon by 2017.
Named Beresheet, the Hebrew word for genesis, the four-legged craft had meant to measure magnetic fields from its landing site on a lunar plain called Mare Serenitatis, the Sea of Serenity.
"I am seriously considering investing in a space programme", he said in the webcast. That sucks. However, engineering and science are hard.