Israel's first lunar-bound spacecraft successfully implemented its first maneuver on Sunday after completing its first worldwide order, the team behind the privately-funded Beresheet project said.
According to a joint statement from IAI and SpaceIL, the 30-second maneuver, made 69,400 kilometers from the ground, powered the spacecraft closer to the moon.
The four-foot Beresheet, partly the size of a washing machine, is round Earth in ever larger loops until it's got a lunar gravity and goes into orbit around the moon instead. Touchdown is planned for April 11 on the Sea of Serenity.
Sunday scheme "will raise the closest point of the spacecraft's approach to Earth [during its elliptical orbit] at a distance of 600 kilometers," the statement said.
"This is the first time the main engine Beresheet has been activated ̵1; the maneuver was completed
The statement states that maneuvering is taking into account the problems of the star navigation system of the spacecraft.
Following the successful launch of Beresheet in space early Friday morning, the control room team began to look at a small problem with its star navigation system.
The Israeli team said the intense light from the sun on the spacecraft sensors makes it harder than expected for the spacecraft to orient itself according to the position of stars it has prepared for its first orbit around Earth, the first stage of a slow seven-week trip wan.
the team believes that the issue is a minor, and said there are other ways for the craft to maneuver itself on a right path.
The next maneuver is scheduled for Tuesday night.
Beresheet, meaning "Genesis" in Hebrew, from Cape Canaveral over a Falcon 9 rocket from a private company to SpaceX's businessman Elon Musk.
If successful, Beresheet will have a history of twice: as the first private landing sector in Moo