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After entering the moon's orbit, the spacecraft Beresheet begins to maneuver for landing

After entering an orbit, Israeli spacecraft Beresheet successfully completed on Sunday morning the first of a series of maneuvers to slow down and enter ever smaller rounds around the moon before attempting to land on April 11 in the Serenity Sea. On Sunday, all Beresheet engines were turned on for 271 seconds, burning 55 kilos (120 pounds) of the fuel it left. Maneuvers reduced the spacecraft's longest distance from the moon from 1 0,400 kilometers (6460 miles) to just 750 kilometers. The nearest point in its orbit has remained 460 kilometers from the orb's surface. Get the Times of Israel's Daily Edition by Email and Never Miss Our Best StoriesFree registration During the four days left to the landing trial, engineers will perform several additional maneuvers to turn Beresheets current elliptical path into a circular pathway 200 kilometers from the moon's face. On Thursday, Beresheet engineers are expected to perform the most complex maneuver yet, a perfectly choreographed space jump that allows the spacecraft to hold space from one orbit of the Earth to one around the moon – making Israel the seventh country in the world to achieve the achievement. [embedded content] In order for the spacecraft to enter a path around the moon, Beresheet needed to slow down from 8,500 kilometers per hour (5,280 miles per hour) to 7,500 kilometers per hour (4,660 miles per hour ). Although it still works fast for mere people, according to engineers, it is the orbital equivalent that slams on the brakes.…

After entering an orbit, Israeli spacecraft Beresheet successfully completed on Sunday morning the first of a series of maneuvers to slow down and enter ever smaller rounds around the moon before attempting to land on April 11 in the Serenity Sea.

On Sunday, all Beresheet engines were turned on for 271 seconds, burning 55 kilos (120 pounds) of the fuel it left.

Maneuvers reduced the spacecraft’s longest distance from the moon from 1

0,400 kilometers (6460 miles) to just 750 kilometers. The nearest point in its orbit has remained 460 kilometers from the orb’s surface.

During the four days left to the landing trial, engineers will perform several additional maneuvers to turn Beresheets current elliptical path into a circular pathway 200 kilometers from the moon’s face.

On Thursday, Beresheet engineers are expected to perform the most complex maneuver yet, a perfectly choreographed space jump that allows the spacecraft to hold space from one orbit of the Earth to one around the moon – making Israel the seventh country in the world to achieve the achievement.

In order for the spacecraft to enter a path around the moon, Beresheet needed to slow down from 8,500 kilometers per hour (5,280 miles per hour) to 7,500 kilometers per hour (4,660 miles per hour ). Although it still works fast for mere people, according to engineers, it is the orbital equivalent that slams on the brakes. The engineers accomplished this by turning the spacecraft so that the motors are pulled in the opposite direction and lowering the speed.

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

The United States, Russia (like the Soviet Union), Japan, China, the European Space Agency and India have all visited the moon via probes, but only the United States, Russia and China have successfully landed on the moon; Other probes lost control and crashed into the surface.

If Israel successfully landed according to plan on April 11, it will also be the first time a privately funded company has landed there.

An image taken by the Beresheet spacecraft of the lunar surface with the earth in the background on April 5, 2019. (courtesy Beresheet)

spacecraft NIS 370 million ($ 100 million) is a joint venture between Israeli nonprofit SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, which is almost entirely funded by private donations from well-known Jewish philanthropists.

“There is a big chance that we have a crash landing,” says Opher Doron, the division’s director general at Israel Aerospace Industries. “It’s very dangerous, and it’s hard to predict if we succeed.”

In total, the spacecraft has traveled nearly 6 million kilometers and still has about half a million left to go. This is the slowest and longest journey the spacecraft has made to the moon. The distance from Earth to the Moon is on average about 385,000 kilometers (239,000 miles).

Using the earth’s and moon’s gravity pressure and activating only the engines at the nearest and longest points on the ellipses, engineers were able to drastically reduce the amount of fuel needed on the spacecraft. Fuel still accounts for the majority of Beresheet weight. In space, the spacecraft refused a total of 600 kilos, of which approximately 440 kilos (970 pounds) were fuel.

Beresheet, meaning “Genesis” in Hebrew, lifted off February 22 from Cape Canaveral in Florida on top of a Falcon 9 rocket from the private US-based SpaceX company of entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Beresheet on display before launch on December 17, 2018. (Ariel Schalit / AP)

The project was launched as Israel’s entry into the Google LunarX challenge for non-governmental groups to land a spacecraft on the moon. Google ended the 2018 competition without a winner, but the Israeli team decided to continue their efforts privately.

If Beresheet successfully landed on April 11, the spacecraft is expected to perform two or three days of experiments that gather data on the moon’s magnetic field before turning off. There, it will stay, perhaps until the death of the solar system, on the surface of the moon and with about 181,000 kilos (400,000 pounds at the weight of the earth) of human debris flowing over the surface of the moon.

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