Rookie Moonshot: Budget Mission to the Moon

RUNTIME: 60 min
KEY PERSONNEL: Tom Brisley, Lucie Ridout
BROADCASTER: National Geographic Channel

The Beresheet spacecraft launched in late February 2019 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. From mission control in Yehud, Israel, team members followed the robotic mission's steady approach towards the moon.

The goal was to land on the lunar northern hemisphere, on a site within Mare Serenitatis. But as Beresheet finally attempted a landing on April 11, 2019, it suffered a technical glitch and crashed into the moon.

The series covers the project's beginnings up to their descent. The program shows viewers the early project notes that the three engineers behind the Beresheet mission - Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub - wrote down at a bar. They went on to form SpaceIL when they got financial backing from billionaire businessman Morris Kahn. The spacecraft is the result of a partnership between SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries.

The footage follows Beresheet's final moments, as experienced by the members of mission control.