Israeli spacecraft fails in attempt to reach moon

An Israeli spacecraft fell short in its attempt to complete the first privately-funded mission to the moon, according to the Associated Press.

The spacecraft was built by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the nonprofit SpaceIL.

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Late Thursday, shortly before the SpaceIL spacecraft was set to touch down on the surface of the moon, it lost contact with Earth, prompting scientists to declare the mission failed.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” recently reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at what was intended to be a celebration of reaching the lunar surface, according to the AP.

"We have a failure of the spacecraft," Opher Doron, general manager of the Israel Aerospace Industries space program said, according to The Independent. "We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully." The crash was reportedly caused by a failure of the main engine, according to the newspaper.