Beresheet spacecraft releases striking photo as it heads toward moon

The Israeli-built spacecraft has completed another maneuver in preparation for entering the moon's gravitational pull.

EARTH, from Beresheet’s vantage point (photo credit: SPACEIL)
EARTH, from Beresheet’s vantage point
(photo credit: SPACEIL)
The Beresheet spacecraft continues to release striking images from space as it successfully completed another maneuver on Monday. Launched from Florida in February, the unmanned Israeli-built craft is scheduled to land on the moon on April 11.
The engineering team of SpaceIL and Israeli Aerospace Industries stated that they remotely performed the maneuver, which started and ran the spacecraft’s engines for 72 seconds.
“The teams are assessing the results of the maneuver to determine if another alignment maneuver will be required before heading toward the moon,” they announced.
Monday’s move was in preparation for “Lunar Capture” – a complicated maneuver in which Beresheet will enter the moon’s gravity and orbit it before landing. For the past several weeks it has been orbiting earth.
The engineering team, located in Yehuda in central Israel, took a rare photograph of the earth from approximately 10,000 miles away, the closest it will still be to earth before embarking on the next part of its journey.
Last week, Beresheet took a staggering video of a sunrise from space and snapped selfie images with earth.
Beresheet, named after the Hebrew word for the Book of Genesis, is the smallest such craft by weight – measuring only 1.5m. by 2m. at 600 kg. (around 1,300 lbs.). The privately funded initiate costs $100 million, which is significantly less expensive compared to other deep space projects.