The spacecraft had travelled through space for close to seven weeks orbiting the earth before crashlanding on the moon.
After beginning its final landing maneuver at 22:10 Israel time the unmanned spacecraft lost it's thrusters and ended up crashing on the moon. An issue with the spacecraft's engine was suspected, but the lander's signal was lost shortly after the engine came back online so answers were hard to come by.
The mission ended Israel's hopes of joining the ranks of Russian Federation, the USA and China as the only countries to have made controlled landings on Earth's nearest neighbour.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was watching from the control room near Tel Aviv, said: "If at first you don't succeed, you try again".
"We definitely crashed on the surface of the moon", said Opher Doron, general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries.
This mission is also humanity's first privately funded mission to reach lunar orbit, and the first Israeli craft to reach lunar orbit (at the same time!) Imagine that!
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The lander carried a high-resolution video camera system, a magnetometer to map the moon's magnetic field and a mirror-like retroreflector that the laser altimeter on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter can use to gauge Beresheet's exact position on the surface. With the failure, Israel has to continue dreaming of being ranked among the Soviet Union, China, and the United States, which have all completed moon-landing missions.
"We had a failure in the spacecraft".
It had been hoped that the small robotic spacecraft, built by the nonprofit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, would match a feat that has been achieved only by U.S., Russian Federation and China.
Beresheet was launched in February aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, one of SpaceX's private fleets run by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. At that time "an Israeli spacecraft will land on the moon, whole".
"It is by far the smallest, the cheapest spacecraft ever to get to the moon", said Doron.
Despite the failed landing, XPRIZE gave a $1 million "Moonshot Award" to SpaceIL in recognition of the team's achievement. "We are on the moon, but not in the way that we wanted to".