NASA spacecraft spots doomed lunar lander’s crash site on Moon’s surface

<em>Beresheet’s crash site, as seen from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.</em>

A NASA spacecraft in orbit around the Moon spotted the crash site of an Israeli robotic lander named Beresheet, which slammed into the lunar surface during a botched landing attempt in April. New pictures from the spacecraft show that the lander left a dark, 10-meter-long smudge across the Moon where it hit and then disintegrated.

The ill-fated lander was the creation of an Israeli nonprofit called SpaceIL, which launched Beresheet on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in February. Before the crash, the lander was poised to make history by becoming the first spacecraft made with mostly private funding to touch down on the surface of the Moon.

But during its landing attempt, someone or something inputted a command into the lander’s…

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Author: Loren Grush

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