Britain suffered another disaster in space exploration after it emerged the engine of Israel's failed Moon lander was made by a Buckinghamshire company.
An image taken by Israel spacecraft, Beresheet, upon its landing on the moon, obtained by Reuters from Space IL on April 11, 2019. (Jiji Press) - The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is preparing to announce by the end of this year its participation in a USA -led project to build a manned base in a lunar orbit, its president revealed Monday. The photo shows Beresheet headed down to meet the pockmarked moon surface, with its glistening gold legs outstretched, and a matching gold flag unfurled. "By the time the engine was restarted its velocity was too high to land properly".
Israel would have been the fourth nation to join this elite club.
It's not clear what caused the crash.
This early investigation does suggest that the main engine, which had been built in Britain, was not the primary source of the failure.
All went well till the craft was 20 km away from the lunar surface, when the ground station lost some communication.
Only government space agencies from the former Soviet Union, the USA and China have achieved moon landings.
Its journey took it on a series of ever-widening orbits around the Earth, before being captured by the Moon's gravity and moving into lunar orbit on 4 April.
The Israeli spacecraft was the first privately funded probe to attempt a soft landing on the Moon. The price was sent from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX rocket.
SpaceIL said that "comprehensive tests" are planned for next week to better understand the events that led to the failed landing, but didn't give a timetable for releasing more details about the cause of the landing.
In a panel discussion, astronauts discussed their sometimes harrowing journeys, including what it's like to drive the rover on the moon's surface and another about how Aldrin and Armstrong were almost stranded on the moon's surface only to be miraculously saved by a felt-tipped pen, as reported by Space.com.
"We reached the moon but we want to land more softly and this will be on the next attempt".
"If at first you don't succeed, you try again", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to the crowd gathered at the SpaceIL control center.