Friday, 19 April, 2019

Israel’s SpaceIL circles moon with Beresheet (Genesis)

WATCH: Israel's Beresheet Lunar Lander Snaps Stunning Pics of Far Side of the Moon Israel's Beresheet enters lunar orbit, becomes 7th nation to achieve feat
Cary Marshall | 11 April, 2019, 01:06

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.

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.

The spacecraft is expected to land on the moon on April 11.

SpaceIL is the nonprofit group behind the launch of the mission, and IAI are the Israeli equivalent of NASA.

More news: Two bodies found in the Caribbean believed to be missing NYC couple

"The lunar capture is an historic event in and of itself - but it also joins Israel in a seven-nation club that has entered the Moon's orbit", SpaceIL's chairman Morris Kahn said on 4 April 2019. The name בראשית is prounounced "beresheet" and is roughly translated from Hebrew to English to mean "Genesis" - aka the beginning.

On Wednesday evening, Beresheet is set to perform its final maneuver before the expected landing on Thursday scheduled between 22:00 pm and 23:00 pm Israel time. During the coming week, SpaceIL and IAI are to conduct a series of intense maneuvers with the spacecraft in preparation for the landing. Till last December, India and Israel were in the race to become the fourth country in the world to successfully land on the moon. It is roughly the size of a washing machine, reaching a height of 1.5 meters, about two meters in width, and weighing just 600 kilograms. The others lost control and crashed on the moon's surface.

UPDATE: As it turns out, Lunar XPRIZE will award them a $1M Moonshot Award.

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