Apr 13, 2019

Undeterred by failed mission, Israel plans second attempt to plant its flag on the moon


Not easily discouraged, the company behind Israel's attempted moonshot on Thursday, announced its intention to pursue a second mission, with already-pledged funds from private backers and hopes for public donations, Reuters reports.

The backdrop: Manufactured by nonprofit SpaceIL and state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, the $100 million craft dubbed "Beresheet," crashed on its final lunar descent on Thursday. Had the landing been successful, Israel would have become the fourth country — following the U.S., Soviet Union and China — to manage a controlled lunar landing, and the first craft to land on the moon that was not a product of a government program. Newly re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "If at first you don't succeed, you try again," after the mission's failure. SpaceIL president and tech billionaire Morris Kahn, said the Beresheet 2 task force would meet on Sunday, adding: “We began something that we shall complete, and we will place our flag on the moon,” per Reuters.

Go deeper: Israeli moon landing to mark milestone in lunar exploration

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Tech can't remember what to do in a down market

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Wall Street's two-day-old coronavirus crash is a wakeup alarm for Silicon Valley.

The big picture: Tech has been booming for so long the industry barely remembers what a down market feels like — and most companies are ill-prepared for one.

Brace yourself for a coronavirus outbreak

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday "to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Exclusive: Pro-Trump group plans post-Super Tuesday blitz on Democrats

Democratic presidential hopefuls take the debate stage in South Carolina. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump super PAC America First Action is preparing to unleash a series of targeted, swing-state attacks on the Democrats most likely to face President Trump after Super Tuesday, people familiar with the group's plans tell me in an exclusive preview of its strategy.

The state of play: The group has been tracking favorable/unfavorable ratings in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania for 2020 candidates Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg — under the theory that if Trump wins each of these six states he would win re-election.