Israeli Spacecraft 'Beresheet' Captures First Pictures of Moon's Surface

Pablo Tucker
April 11, 2019

An awesome achievement for a tiny spacecraft from Israel: the Beresheet lander has entered orbit around the moon, making Israel just the seventh nation to do so.

SpaceIL developed Bereshit in collaboration with Israeli state-owned defense contractor Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. (IAI).

"This morning, Monday, 8.4.19 at 07:48, the engineering team of SpaceIL and IAI successfully carried out another maneuver around the moon".

"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", SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn told Agence-France Presse.

A view of the far side of the moon captured by the Beresheet lander during its lunar orbital insertion on 4 April, 2019. In Hebrew, Beresheet means in the beginning or Genesis, launched in the month of February.

Until it gets to that point, the lander sent back a few photos of our satellite, showing the seldom seen dark side of the Moon.

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).

Of the seven nations that have entered the moon's orbit, only the U.S., Russian Federation and China succeeded in landing on the moon.

It took about nine minutes for eight engines to slowly maneuver the spacecraft in the right direction, and a little less than six minutes for the engines to slow the spacecraft down to the correct speed.

The spacecraft is expected to land on the moon on April 11. Good of them to keep that money ready to roll regardless of the original parameters!

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