'Rookie Moonshot: Budget Mission to the Moon' Follows Israeli Moon Landing Attempt

Rick and Christina Gables
Photo: National Geographic/Jordan Smith

Rookie Moonshot: Budget Mission to the Moon is the remarkable story of a small company with huge dreams to become the first to land a privately funded unmanned vehicle on the Moon.

The 60-minute special airs Thursday, April 25 on National Geographic Channel. The program follows the Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL, as it attempts to land its spacecraft, Beresheet (Hebrew for Genesis), on the lunar surface.

On April 4, 2019, Beresheet entered orbit around the moon, taking this picture of the moon 0Photo: Space IL)

Despite the C Rookie Company’s best efforts, the spacecraft suffers a software glitch and crashes just hundreds of feet from the lunar surface. Although SpaceIL doesn’t accomplish its monumental goal, it does make Israel one of only seven countries to orbit the moon.

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Rookie Moonshot: Budget Mission to the Moon features exclusive behind-the-scenes access to mission control, along with Beresheet’s risky landing attempt and interviews with SpaceIL’s founders, engineers and space experts to give key insights into the ambitious mission.

Rookie Moonshot: Budget Mission to the Moon, Premiere, Thursday, April 25, 9/8c, National Geographic