Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Israel Spacecraft Achieves Another Manoeuvre On Way To Moon Landing

Israel Spacecraft Achieves Another Manoeuvre On Way To Moon Landing

SpaceIL's next objective is to reduce the size of Beresheet's lunar orbit with successive burns to the point where it can safely make a single final burn and drop to the moon's surface.

Genesis is scheduled to land on the moon at about 11 p.m. Israel time on April 11 (4 p.m, EDT).

Israel's first mission to the Moon - the Beresheet spacecraft - has completed its long and winding journey out of Earth's orbit and entered the Moon's orbit on 4 April, pulling off an important manoeuvre ahead of its planned soft landing on the Moon next week. Israel is the seventh nation in the world to successfully enter the moon's orbit.

Finally, this week it traveled far enough from Earth with an orbit of 400,000 kilometers (250,000 miles) to be captured by the moon's gravity and to be pulled into orbit.

According to an update released by the spacecraft's designers and manufacturers, SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, Beresheet lowered its altitude above the moon during the maneuver, as it prepares for the landing.

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A tweep enquires about whether the view gave the mission team any information about life on the Moon, prompting an interesting no-comment response from them.

If it succeeds, it will be the first Israeli spacecraft to land on the moon, as well as the first privately owned craft to do so.

Above you'll see a broadcast from mission control at the IAI, below you'll see a promotional video for the program.

The United States, Russia (as the USSR), Japan, China, the European Space Agency and India have all made visits to the moon via probes, though only the US, Russia and China have successfully landed on the moon; other probes crashed-landed on the surface.

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