The Latest: Commander says Israel spacecraft crashed on moon

The Latest on Israel's attempt to land spacecraft on the moon (all times local):

11 p.m.

One of the commanders of the failed Israeli space mission to the moon says the spacecraft has crashed.

Doron Opher, general manager of the space division of Israel Aerospace Industries, says the SpaceIL craft "definitely crashed on the surface of the moon."

The spacecraft lost communication with Earth just moments before it was to touch down, dashing hopes of making history as the first privately funded lunar mission.


10:35 p.m.

An Israeli spacecraft has failed in its attempt to make history as the first privately funded lunar mission.

The SpaceIL spacecraft lost contact with Earth late Thursday, just moments before it was to land on the moon, and scientists declared the mission a failure.

The small robotic spacecraft, built by the non-profit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, had hoped to match a feat that has only been achieved by the national space agencies of three countries: U.S., Russia and China.

"If at first you don't succeed, try try again," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was on hand for what organizers had hoped to be a celebration.