Beresheet launched to Earth orbit after hitching a ride on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on February 21. It spent the next six weeks performing maneuvers called engine burns to get closer to the moon. On April 4, it finally entered the moon’s orbit, making Israel one of seven nations to put any sort of spacecraft that close to the moon. On April 11, however, Beresheet crashed. An investigation launched by SpaceIL after the incident found that a malfunction in one of the moon lander’s inertial measurement units led to a series of events that turned off the spacecraft’s main engine during its landing, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Only three nations (the former Soviet Union, the United States, and China) have managed to pull of soft touch downs on the moon. Those efforts, according to Space.com, were all government funded, while Beresheet was a private spacecraft.
This mission may have been unsuccessful in terms of landing on the moon, but SpaceIL hasn’t given up on its lunar dreams. The organization, along with Israel Aerospace Industries, have already started drafting up plans for a Beresheet 2.0 mission.
At the very least, space nerds back on Earth can expect more dazzling photos from the moon, which is almost as cool as actually landing on it.