Famed Astronaut Buzz Aldrin called Israel's Beresheet spacecraft "inspiring" after it failed to land on the moon due to a last-minute engine failure Thursday.
The second man on the moon Tweeted: "Condolences to the Beresheet lander @TeamSpaceIL for what almost was! Communications were lost with the spacecraft just 150 meters (!!!) above the surface, and it couldn't quite stick the landing. Never lose hope - your hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all!"
Beresheet crashed into the lunar surface after its main engine failed during landing procedures Thursday night, bringing its 4-million mile journey to the moon to an unexpected end.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated Israel for putting a craft into orbit around the moon.
“While NASA regrets the end of the SpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing of the Beresheet lander, we congratulate SpaceIL, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the incredible accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit,” Bridenstine said in a statement.
“Every attempt to reach new milestones holds opportunities for us to learn, adjust and progress. I have no doubt that Israel and SpaceIL will continue to explore and I look forward to celebrating their future achievements,” he added.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised after the attempted landing on the moon that Israel will try again.
"We will try again. We reached the moon but we want to land more softly and this will be on the next attempt. This very attempt is a tremendous achievement and I think that you see by all the applause here that we really are the fourth country to reach it. We will be the fourth country to land on the moon if we persist,” said Netanyahu.
“From my point-of-view, the eagle has landed. The State of Israel has taken off. Next time it will be better. An Israeli spacecraft will land on the moon whole. In another three years a spacecraft will land on the moon – whole," he added.