Arutz Sheva spoke to Morris Khan, president of SpaceIL, late Thursday night. Khan remains upbeat and optimistic despite Beresheet's failure to land safely on the moon on Thursday night. As millions of people watched in anticipation for Israel's spacecraft to make lunar history, SpaceIL lost communication with Beresheet minutes before Israel was set to become the fourth country to land on the moon after a successful seven-week journey in space.
"I'm happy," the 89-year old South African-born entrepreneur said. "The flag of Israel is on the moon. The slogan of "Small country, big dreams" and Am Yisrael Chai (the nation of Israel lives) is on the moon. I think we've done something. We got around the moon, we landed on the moon. It just happened to be a hard landing."
"This is Beresheet (Hebrew for Genesis, the first of the five books of the Torah), and Beresheet was only the beginning. We're only at the beginning," Khan stressed.
"We did a very professional job. We were in space for two months. Beresheet behaved beautifully," Khan enthused.
"The message for those watching is we tried and didn't complete. It doesn't mean that we stopped. I think that Israel has to continue and I'm sure they will continue. We learned a lot and we proved a lot. We showed that we could get to the moon. There was just a slight technical [glitch] at the very end at the landing. I don't regard this as a failure. I regard it as a success."
"I'm happy tonight," Khan emphasized. "I feel the investment I made was worthwhile."
Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was equally optimistic. "Write this down, in three years we will get another spacecraft on the moon, and this one will land in one piece," Netanyahu said.
"If at first, you don’t succeed, try again. We’ll try again, and next time we’ll just try it more gently."