At 5:17pm (Israel Daylight Time) on April 4, SpaceIL’s engineering team and IAI successfully complete the critical lunar capture maneuver. This enables the spacecraft to be captured by the moon’s gravity and begin an elliptical orbit around the moon.

The difficult maneuver involved reducing the spacecraft’s speed from 8,500 km/hour to 7,500 km/hour, relative to the moon’s velocity. In the coming week, with expected intense engineering activities, many more maneuvers will take Beresheet from an elliptical to a round orbit, at a height of 200km from the moon.

The maneuvers will aim to reduce the spacecraft’s distance from the moon and reach the optimal point to conduct an autonomic landing in the Sea of Serenity in the evening Israel time, April 11.