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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ After entering the moon's orbit, the Beresheet spacecraft starts maneuvering for landing

After entering the moon's orbit, the Beresheet spacecraft starts maneuvering for landing



After entering the lunar orbit, the Israeli spacecraft Beresheet's Sunday morning successfully performed the first of a series of maneuvers to slow down and go into ever-smaller orbits around the moon before attempting to land on April 11th in the Sea of ​​Serenity.

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

The maneuver reduced the spacecraft's farthest distance from the moon from 10,400 kilometers (6460 miles) to just 750 kilometers (465 miles). The nearest spot in its orbit has remained 460 kilometers (285 miles) from the surface of the orb.

In the four days remaining until the landing attempt, the engineers will perform several further maneuvers to turn the Beresheet's current elliptic orbit into a circular orbit 200 kilometers (125 miles) from the face of the moon.

On Thursday, Beresheet's The engineers performed the most complicated maneuver yet, a perfectly choreographed space hop, allowing the car-sized spacecraft to jump from orbit around Earth to one around the moon – making Israel the seventh country in the world to achieve the feat.

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In order for the spacecraft to successfully enter into the orbit 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 that still seems to be fast to humans, according to engineers, it is the orbital equivalent of slamming on the brakes.

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

The United States, Russia (as the Soviet Union), Japan, China, the European Space Agency and India have all made visits to the Moon through the probes, although only the US, Russia and China have successfully landed on the moon; Other probes lost control and crashed into the surface

If Israel successfully lands as planned on April 11, it will also be the first time that privately funded venture has landed there.

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

"There is a significant chance we have a crash landing," said Opher Doron, space director general at Israel Aerospace Industries. "It's very dangerous, and it's hard to predict if we'll 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 trip a spacecraft has made to the moon. The distance from the Earth to the moon is average about 385,000 kilometers (239,000 miles).

By utilizing the gravitational pull of the earth and the moon and only activating the engines at the nearest and farthest points of the ellipses, the engineers were able to drastically reduce the amount of fuel needed on the spacecraft. Fuel still accounts for most Beresheet's weight. At launch, the spacecraft weighed a total of 600 kilos (1,300 pounds), of which about 440 kilograms (970 pounds) were fuel.

Beresheet, which means "Genesis" in Hebrew, was lifted off on February 22 from Cape Canaveral in Florida atop a Falcon 9 rocket from the private US-based SpaceX company of the entrepreneur Elon Musk.

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

The project launched as Israel's entry into The Google LunarX Challenge for non-governmental groups to land a spacecraft on the moon.

If Beresheet lands successfully on April 11, the spacecraft expected to conduct two or three days of experiments collecting data about the Moon's magnetic fields before shutting down. There, it will stay, possibly until the death of the solar system, on the moon's surface, joining about 181,000 kilograms of human-made debris strewn across the moon's surface


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