Picture of the spacecraft Beresheet.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel’s Beresheet (“Genesis in English), the Jewish state’s first lunar spacecraft, successfully completed another maneuver on Wednesday at around 9:30 p.m. Israel time, according to a release by Space IL.
“The maneuver was executed as expected,” Ido Anteby, CEO of SpaceIL, said. “Beresheet’s main engine was activated for four minutes.”
Earlier in the week, Beresheet experienced some technical difficulties and had to cancel a maneuver planned for the spacecraft. Since then, SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the organizations that spearheaded the projects, completed examination of the computer resets and implemented corrective measures.
“All the spacecraft systems are working well, confirmed Opher Doron, general manager of the Space Division at IAI. “There is no big problem on any of the systems. We conducted a lot of testing on the overall spacecraft.”
He said it is “quite normal” for a new spacecraft to have some “teething problems” in its first days.
“We have overcome them all and the moon seems to be getting within reach,” Doron said. “There will probably be some more surprises around the way and hopefully we will manage to deal with them, as well.”
So far, the shuttle has broken the Israeli speed record, traveling at 10.5 kilometers per second. The spacecraft is on its way to an elliptical orbit where the farthest point from Earth is at 131,000 kilometers, which will break the Israeli distance record.
The next maneuver is planned in another week.
Added Anteby, “We are on our way to the moon!”
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