Israel’s SpaceIL circles moon with Beresheet (Genesis)

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

SpaceIL was a competitor in Google's Lunar X-Prize competition.

"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. 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.

The moon is in reach for Israel's Beresheet mission.

The Beresheet lander, a washing machine-sized craft created by Israeli non-profit SpaceIL, has been traveling in increasingly large circles around Earth for the past six weeks since its launch in February.

"There is a significant chance we have a crash landing", said Opher Doron, the space division general manager at Israel Aerospace Industries.

Israel's Netanyahu appears headed toward 5th term as PM
He said that while his potential coalition would be a right-wing government, he pledged he would be "prime minister for all". But some analysts believe that Washington's relatively less controversial Golan Heights recognition may have paved the way.

The SpaceIL team leading the mission celebrated the successful milestone, called "lunar capture", by releasing some stunning images of the Moon's far side taken by the spacecraft.

If they land on the moon, they'll be the fourth country to make the landing (USA, USSR, China).

The size of a dishwasher, the Israeli lander will be used as a platform for several experiments on the Moon, including ones meant to reveal Lunar magnetism.

If Israel successfully lands as planned on April 11, it will also be the first time that a privately financed venture has landed there. Together with four other teams - Moon Express, Synergy Moon, Teamindus, and Hakuto - SpaceIL raced to develop low-priced methods of robotic space exploration.

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