Manual command likely caused Israeli Moon Lander’s crash

Final results of the crash investigation are expected in the coming weeks


A preliminary investigation into what caused Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft to crash-land on the moon April 11 puts the apparent blame on a  “manual command” that was entered into the spacecraft’s computer.

“This led to a chain reaction in the spacecraft, during which the main engine switched off, which prevented it from activating further,” according to a statement released today (April 17) by Beresheet’s handlers, the nonprofit group SpaceIL and the company Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

Teams continue to investigate further, in order to understand the full picture of what occurred during the mission, the statement says. “In the coming weeks, final results of the investigation will be released.”

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