The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet successfully completed a maneuver around the moon Monday morning, just days ahead of the spacecraft’s scheduled lunar landing.
Beresheet, Israel’s first spacecraft, is slated to touchdown on the moon on Thursday, April 11th, roughly a month and a half after its February 21st (February 22nd Israel-time) launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida.
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 Thursday’s landing.
“This morning, Monday, 8.4.19 at 07:48, the engineering team of SpaceIL and IAI successfully carried out another maneuver around the moon. During the maneuver, the engines operated for about 36 seconds and the amount of fuel burned was about six kilograms (13 pounds).”
“During the maneuver, the height of the Apolune (the farthest point from the Moon) was lowered from 750 kilometers (466 miles) to 210 kilometers (130 miles) from the Moon and in fact became the Perilune (the point closest to the Moon). Beresheet is now in an elliptical orbit at an altitude of 211 kilometers (131 miles) to 467 kilometers (290 miles) around the moon.”