The Beresheet spacecraft failed to land on the moon Thursday evening after its main engine failed.
The landing process started at 10:05 PM Israeli time. The craft was supposed to touch down on the lunar surface approximately 20 minutes later, but the engine failure forced it to remain in orbit around the moon.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and his son Yair arrived at the control room in Yehud to watch the landing live. "Today we have unlimited pride and joy. The Israeli spacecraft is about to reach the moon and hope it will be successful," Netanyahu said.
"It is already possible to say that this is another important step for humanity and a giant step for the State of Israel, and Israel is the fourth country in history after three world powers to make this arrival," added the prime minister.
Following the engine failure, Netanyahu said that the launch and successful orbit were still a tremendous achievement for Israel.
"If at first you don't succeed, you try again," the prime minister said.
The spacecraft was launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on February 22 and has traveled four million miles in its journey to the moon.