Beresheet was built in collaboration with Israel Aerospace Industries and the Israel Space Agency for a cost of just $100 million, cheap for this kind of mission, largely because the vehicle has not been equipped with backup systems. Unlike all other countries to reach the moon, SpaceIL's achievement was funded nearly entirely by private donors rather than the government.
"We unfortunately have not managed to land successfully", Opher Doron, the general manager of Israel Aerospace Industries' space division, said during the live broadcast.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted Israel will succeed within two to three years.
Israelis are gearing up for an historic event Thursday evening, as the country sets off to become the fourth nation to complete a controlled landing on the moon.
So far, only Russian Federation, the United States and China have made the 384,000-kilometre (239,000-mile) journey and landed on the Moon.
Cold front hitting Utah Tuesday will bring rain, snow and strong winds
We also think the need to include Denver proper (and numerous northern/northwestern urban corridor communities) is borderline. Not a huge severe threat it appears, but certainly some hail will be possible with some of the stronger cells that develop.
According to a report from Space.com, the team never intended Beresheet to be a science craft, but instead its mission involved "advancing Israel's space program, increasing the nation's technological knowhow and getting young people more interested in science, technology, engineering and math".
He said the spacecraft's engine turned off shortly before landing, and scientists were still trying to figure out the cause.
The audacity of the three young engineers behind the outfit, Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari, and Yonatan Winetraub, caught the attention of a South African-born billionaire named Morris Kahn. It has already succeeded in entering the moon's orbit, which is an accomplishment achieved by only seven countries.
McCurdy said almost 50 years ago Neil Armstrong had to fly eight kilometers (five miles) before landing to avoid hitting a rock and had to deal with a malfunctioning radar altimeter.
The SpaceIL nonprofit group was able to keep going even as other teams began to drop out of the competition, and as the original deadline to win the X-Prize was extended.
It had hitched a ride on the SpaceX Falcon rocket, which had been launched from Florida in February. After the mission concludes, IAI is looking at the possibility of offering the lander design for commercial lunar missions.
If everything goes to plan, Beresheet should touch down on the moon somewhere between 4:30 and 5 p.m. EDT in the lunar region known as the Sea of Tranquility.