Israeli spacecraft Beresheet executes complicated maneuver

Graphic of the Beresheet spacecraft (Courtesy/SpaceIL) 

Marcy Oster


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli spacecraft Beresheet conducted a complicated and successful maneuver as it continues on its journey to the moon.

The maneuver on Thursday was carried out according to plan, despite having to deal with a malfunctioning star tracker. Its main engine burned for 152 seconds during the action. The next maneuver is scheduled to take place in two weeks.

The spacecraft had missed a scheduled maneuver when its computer reset unexpectedly and automatically canceled the engine burn, but it remains on schedule due to buffer days built into the plan.

The maneuvers move the spacecraft farther from the Earth and closer to the moon. It will travel around the Earth in progressively larger orbits, eventually entering the moon’s orbit and touching down on the moon on or around April 11.