Following Successful Lunar Capture, Beresheet Sets Course for the Moon

Israel is the seventh nation to achieve lunar orbit. If the landing is successful, it will become the fourth country to land a craft on the moon

Lilach Baumer 08:5705.04.19
Israeli spacecraft Beresheet has successfully completed on Thursday its risky lunar capture maneuverer, intended to slow the spacecraft enough to allow it to be captured by the moon’s gravitational pull as it exits earth.


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The maneuverer, performed by the teams of Beresheet’s developers Israeli nonprofit organization SpaceIL and Israeli state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI), lasted six minutes.


The moon. Photo: Getty Images The moon. Photo: Getty Images



The spacecraft, which was launched in February, will repeatedly orbit the moon for the next week before preparing for an autonomous landing on Thursday, April 11. Beresheet is expected to perform several maneuvers over the next several days that will bring it to a height of only 200 kilometers from the moon, from an orbit as large as 10,000 km.


“The lunar capture is a historic event in and of itself – but it also joins Israel in a seven-nation club that has entered the moon’s orbit,” said in a statement SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn. “A week from today we’ll make more history by landing on the moon, joining three superpowers who have done so.”

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