The lunar lander Beresheet is expected to land on the moon at between 2 and 3 p.m. CDT on Thursday, April 11. Beresheet is a joint mission of SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries, and if successful, Beresheet will be both the first Israeli and first privately funded spacecraft to land softly on the moon’s surface. Israel would also join China, Russia and the United States in landing a spacecraft on the moon.
Beresheet successfully launched from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Feb. 21. On April 4, Beresheet was captured by the moon’s gravity and began its week-long orbit 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,” said SpaceIL Chairman Morris Kahn”. [On April 11] we’ll make more history by landing on the moon, joining three superpowers who have done so. Today I am proud to be an Israeli.”
Up to the lunar capture, Beresheet performed seven maneuvers in space while traveling more than 3.4 million miles; it will travel 1 million more while orbiting the moon.
The spacecraft has performed seven maneuvers
The spacecraft has traveled 5.5 million km (over 3.4 million miles) in its orbits and will travel one million more while orbiting the moon. It made 12.5 Earth orbits, ranging in altitudes of between 44,000 miles and 260,000 miles.