Israel to the Moon: Beresheet performs first successful maneuver around the moon
On Sunday morning at 04:36, the Israeli Spacecraft “Beresheet” made its first successful orbit around the moon.
Beresheet’s engine operated in order to slow down the spacecraft, now at its maximum thrust.
“During the maneuver, Beresheet’s engines operated for about 271 seconds and the amount of fuel burned was approximately 55 kg while reducing the Apolune from 10,400 km to 750 km from the moon”, SpaceIL tweeted.
The Perilune, which is the closest point to the moon, sees Beresheet approximately 460 km. from the moon.
Over the weekend, Beresheet took photos of the far side of the moon from 550 km. and from 2500 km.
“Beresheet is in an excellent orbit!” SpaceIL tweeted Friday morning.
The spacecraft—called “Beresheet,” a reference to the first words of the Bible in Hebrew: “In the beginning…”—will reach the moon on April 11 at the Sea of Serenity, from where it will send back images of the rocky surface and conduct experiments on the lunar magnetic field.
Its first task, however, will be to plant an Israeli flag on the moon.