[ Update 2: The final image returned from Beresheet as it came down the lunar surface:

Update 3:30 pm EDT: Unfortunately, Beresheet failed to make a soft landing. The descent was going as planned but then the main engine cut off and could not be restarted before it was too late.

The good news is that a low-cost privately funded and designed lunar project successfully for the first time reached the Moon’s surface after successfully going into lunar orbit, also a first for a private project.

The spacecraft made a selfie made during the descent:


Today Israel’s SpaceIL team plans to send the Beresheet (which translates to “genesis” or “in the beginning”) spacecraft from its orbit around the Moon down to the surface for a soft (we hope) landing. The de-orbit operation will start at 22:05 Israeli time (UTC+03:00) or 04:05 in Tokyo, 05:05 in Sydney,12:05 in Los Angeles, 14:05 in Mexico City, 15:05 in New York, 16:05 in Rio, 20:05 in London, 21:05 in Paris. The landing should happen about 20 minutes later.

A live webcast of the landing will begin about 20 minutes before de-orbiting begins:

Updates are available at Israel To The Moon (@TeamSpaceIL) | Twitter.

Here is a SpaceIL video about the landing:

More info at

The SpaceIL Beresheet spacecraft.


First on the Moon: The Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Experience