Israel's Beresheet completes second successful maneuver ahead of moon landing

Israel's Beresheet completes second successful maneuver ahead of moon landing

Israel's Beresheet completes second successful maneuver ahead of moon landing

You might remember the name SpaceIL from its participation in the Google Lunar X Prize* contest in 2011.

This week SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced they were on-track with their lunar mission בראשית (pronounced Beresheet). Recently, on Easter Time around 10:18 a.m. for 6 minutes, its engines were fired by the spacecraft, slowing down enough to be captured by the gravity of the moon. As Kahn alluded to, the next challenge for Beresheet will be a historic landing on the moon next week.

Beresheet, named after the first word and the first book in the Torah (meaning "in the beginning"), lifted off from Cape Canaveral on February 22.

Kahn is expected to speak about the mission and answer questions in an interactive YouTube Live session at 7 pm IST (4.30 pm local time in Israel).

Israel would become the fourth country after the USA, the Soviet Union and China to make a soft landing on the moon.

If Israeli Beresheet's lander successfully kisses the moon's surface on April 11, it would become the first privately conceived, funded, engineered and launched lunar mission in the world. 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. SpaceIL was not deterred!

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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